RENO, NV - Trauma Intervention Program or TIP is a citizen volunteer group that assists victims of traumatic events here in Northern Nevada. They are called to the scene by police, fire or medical staff to help with the emotional needs of those affected by a tragic event. “We were at the Reno Air Races crash, both the Washoe and the Caughlin fires, and the IHOP shooting,” says Executive Director Gabrielle Totton. “At the air races we responded immediately after the plane crashed. We had 16 volunteers out at the stead airport within 45 minutes of the plane going down, and basically their role was just to be there for folks let them share their stories and let them kind of start processing what had just happened.”
This week, the group begins training another class of volunteers. They will get 40 hours of classroom training, and spend some time riding along emergency responders. There’s also a stringent background check, but previous experience is not necessary.
For most volunteers, Totton says the reward comes from helping someone in need through a difficult time. “You’re probably never going to see them again, and even if you do they won't recognize you,” she says “but almost always they will say what an incredible service it was and how grateful they were to have our volunteer there.”
Right now the program has a growing need for Spanish speaking members. Registration is ongoing, but the next training session will not take place until February 2013. Current volunteers will be honored at the “Heroes with Heart” dinner on October 4th at the Peppermill.
For more information about the program or becoming a volunteer, click on the link below.