CHANDLER, Ariz. (KSAZ)
Are you looking for a way you can make a difference in the community? The Chandler Fire Department is looking for you.
Volunteers are needed to serve on the Crisis Response Team, a unit that serves those who are often in the midst of dealing with some of the worst tragedy imaginable.
From bee attacks....to overnight house fires....to an always dreaded drowning call.
Firefighters are often first on scene, assessing the damage, putting out the flames and rescuing those in need.
And in Chandler, right by their side, are the volunteers of the Crisis Response Team.
“We're not there to investigate a crime or to provide medical support,” says Jessica Westmiller with the Chandler Crisis Response Team. “It’s how can we support you in being safe and making the best decisions moving forward from the trauma you've experienced.”
Citizen Support Coordinator Jessica Westmiller says the team is literally looking for a few good men and women to work by their sides...volunteers who are ready to help.
“As a pair we go out together to meet the emotional needs of individuals,” says Westmiller. “We are providing empathy; we are contacting people who may be able to support them in their natural systems.”
Whether it's a natural death...or a homicide...elder or child abuse...domestic violence or unforeseen devastation, the Crisis Response Team is there to provide basic needs like shoes, toys for kids who are scared and even information.
“We have professional social workers and counselors on staff,” says Westmiller. “So coming in as a volunteer we're not expecting those folks to have those degrees. We do expect [that] they’re going to be able to dedicate the time. We will put them through a training academy so they have the information they need.”
Qualified volunteers must pass a back ground and finger print check, be licensed to drive a van that seats 15 people, but most importantly be prepared to offer help when and where it's most needed.
Potential volunteers must attend an orientation meeting at 7:00 p.m. Tuesday January 19 at the Chandler Fire, Health and Medical Department headquarters.