Treasure Valley Gets a Trauma Intervention Program

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When trauma strikes, the injured person isn't necessarily the only victim in the situation. While emergency personnel deal with those in need of immediate medical assistance, family members often stand nearby. A national non-profit organization called Trauma Intervention Programs, Inc. (TIP) is seeking volunteers in Boise to help those family members and bystanders affected by trauma, according to a Boise Police Department news release. TIP serves more than 250 cities across the country.

Volunteers for TIP are well-trained and respond to the scene of an accident to lend emotional support to friends and family members on the scene. They offer support to those who experience a sudden death or unexpected crisis. 

"Residents of this community who have just experienced a tragedy should not be alone in what may be the worst few hours of their lives," said Wayne Fortin, TIP's founder. The news release said that while police officers, paramedics and firefighters would like to support those who are "emotionally wounded," they have to concentrate on the emergency before them.

The volunteers will offer what is called "Emotional First Aid." According to Boise Fire Department Chief Randy Howell, "Many people have trouble processing their emotions when we are on the scene. This program allows them to speak with someone after the crisis has occurred."

TIP will not be involved in highly sensitive crimes like domestic violence of sexual assault.

The Boise chapter of TIP was approved for funding through the Boise Police Department at the July 29 City Council meeting. The first step to get the program running will be to recruit and train volunteers.  Training begins on Jan. 8, 2015. For more information or to register, call 208-391-3972 or email tipincceo@aol.com.