Trauma Intervention Programs of San Diego County, Inc.
Founded in 1985, Trauma Intervention Programs of San Diego County, Inc.
(aka "TIP San Diego") is a 501c(3) non-profit, volunteer organization of specially
trained citizen volunteers who are called in by emergency services personnel to
provide immediate emotional & practical support to victims & their families in
the first few hours following a tragedy. TIP responds to emergency situations
within 20 minutes, 24 hours/day, 365 days/year.
TIP volunteers assist police officers, firefighters, paramedics, & hospital
personnel with: Family members & friends following a natural or unexpected
death; Victims of violent crime including homicide, assault, robbery, or
burglary; Victims of fire or other loss of home; Disoriented or lonely elderly
people; Persons involved in motor vehicle accidents; Persons who are distraught
and seeking immediate support; Family members of a person who has
completed or attempted suicide; Natural disasters and public tragedies.
Some of the ways TIP volunteers assist are to: Provide emotional support to
victims or survivors; Help arrange for food, shelter, clothing, and transportation
Help notify other family members and friends; Serve as a liaison between the
victims and emergency services or hospital personnel; Help arrange for follow
up services; Provide information about and referrals to appropriate agencies for
Police officers, firefighters, or paramedics on scene are busy with their own
duties & find it difficult to provide meaningful emotional support to victims &
survivors. This can be very frustrating to both emergency services personnel
and the victims, & there may be no one else available in the immediate
aftermath of a tragedy to guide the victims through these difficult hours. This is
when the TIP volunteer is called in by emergency services personnel. TIP
volunteers respond within 20 minutes, receive a quick briefing, & provide
immediate temporary support until the persons involved in the crisis are able to
depend on family members, friends, neighbors, or others.
TIP San Diego was founded in 1985 by Wayne Fortin. When Fortin worked
with the San Diego Mental Health Dept, he treated large numbers of patients
with stress symptoms from traumatic events even though they had not been
primary victims. Seeing the need for a program to help secondary victims of
trauma immediately, Fortin recruited & trained citizen volunteers. TIP's slogan,
"Citizens helping Citizens in Crisis," captures the spirit of the program.
In 1991, TIP was the recipient of a $100,000 Harvard University and Ford
Foundation grants for earning an "Innovation in State and Local Government
Award". These funds were used to introduce the TIP program to other cities and
jurisdictions. There are now 18 TIP Chapters serving 100 cities throughout the
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