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NCJ Number: 200586 Find in a Library
Title: Volunteer Brigade: Proactive, Informed and Comprehensive Crisis Response Has Never Been More Important, Volunteers Can Help
Journal: Campus Safety Journal  Volume:11  Issue:6  Dated:June 2003  Pages:12,14
Author(s): Joanne Tortorici Luna
Date Published: June 2003
Page Count: 2
Type: Program/Project Description
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: This second part of a two-part article on responding to crises on campus discusses the selection and training of a Volunteer Crisis Resource Team and how such teams can fit into Incident Command Systems.
Abstract: Selection procedures for a Volunteer Crisis Resource Team will vary according to the level of the student population, size of the campus, and resources that are already in place. This article describes team selection and training for campuses at the Pre-K-12 level and higher education campuses. At the Pre-K-12 level, there may well be a cadre of support personnel to draw on for a Volunteer Crisis Resource Team. First selection would logically include those who have already had some experience in crisis response. In the case of the Long Beach Unified School District, an expert consultant in school crisis response trained the initial group of 25 school counselors, school psychologists, nurses, social workers, and teachers. As school administrators increasingly used the team to manage incidents, the school district responded by expanding the team to 125 trained members for its nearly 100,000 students. After responding to crisis incidents, team members have an opportunity to discuss their emotional reactions to the incident with a trained person who was not directly involved in the response. In higher education, campuses may be larger with more centralized support staffs than those at the Pre-K-12 level. At California State University, Long Beach, the Volunteer Crisis Resource Team complements the existing support staff. Following a post-September 11, 2001, discussion in the Campus Climate Committee, a letter from the Committee, Student Services, University Police, and Counseling and Psychological Services went out to all faculty and staff of the 34,000-student campus. Nearly 200 people from diverse campus departments expressed interest in becoming trained team members. Although most team members do not have a mental health background, all are university employees and would be temporarily released from their normal duties during an emergency. An initial group of 21 civilians along with approximately one-third of the university police force attended summer training. The 8-hour day-shift and night-shift police training included some skills-building, but the main goals were to familiarize the officers with the type of training the civilians would be receiving and to build confidence in using civilian helpers during emergencies. The crisis team is dispatched centrally through the university police, and key university officials can activate the team as a backup. All trained team members are registered as State Disaster Workers, thus protecting them from litigation and guaranteeing them Worker's Compensation rights during declared emergencies.
Main Term(s): Victim services
Index Term(s): Campus Security; Crisis intervention; Crisis intervention training; Crisis management; Victim services training; Volunteer programs; Volunteer training; Volunteers
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