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Trauma Intervention Programs of San Diego County, Inc.

Carlsbad, California

Cause Description:
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 ongoing assistance. 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 United States.

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