People Helping People

Feb 22, 2018 | News

Many thanks to the Care Connection team to connecting with the DPS HRT at PHC to bring light to the important work that this team is part of.


The Disaster Psycho-Social Hospital Responder Team (DPS HRT) at Providence Health Care provides an immediate, short term service that will help all individuals involved in a disaster response at the hospital. 

At PHC, volunteers from social work, occupational therapy, physiotherapy, spiritual health, nursing, medicine, psychology, strategic planning, change initiatives, ethics and volunteer services have received training and have committed to responding during a disaster. 


The DPS HRT helps to restore peoples' feelings of safety, control, confidence, competence and trust by:

  • The provision of psychological first aid (PFA) to those with no visible physical injuring and to the “worried well”;
  • Providing immediate on – site staff support;
  • Providing reunification services to family and friends seeking loved ones by establishing a Family Information and Support Centre (FISC).


The training is a combination of on-line and in person training. The team also has committed to annual refresher exercises.


The DPS HRT was developed by PHC in conjunction with BC’s Provincial DPS Network. Recognized as a leading practice by Accreditation Canada in 2014, the team is expanding to hospitals across the Lower Mainland. 

The DPS HRT is activated when the Incident Commander in the Emergency Operations Centre decides the services of the team are required. The team was first mobilized during disaster planning exercises leading up the 2010 Winter Olympics. They responded during the Stanley Cup riot in 2011 and participated in two multi-agency simulation exercises – one a plane crash at YVR and one a hostage taking at St. Paul’s Hospital.


Evidence-based research has led to increasing recognition that trained psychosocial disaster responders can make significant contributions to the positive psychological recovery of disaster survivors and to the health and well-being of disaster workers.

Being a member of the DPS HRT is one more way that employees of PHC contribute to the well-being of their community – both within and outside the walls of the organization.

For more information on the work that PHC is doing in this area, please contact Jean Carne, PHC practice consultant, at


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