A nonprofit organization that focuses on providing in-person assistance to Riverside County residents who have suffered a tragic loss, been victimized by crime or experienced shock from a natural or man-made disaster is seeking volunteers to begin training next month.
The Trauma Intervention Program of Southwest Riverside County is partnering with the Riverside University Health System to offer training opportunities for at least 30 new "TIP" volunteers, starting May 1 at the sheriff's Moreno Valley station, 22850 Calle San Juan De Los Lagos.
About two dozen people currently participate in the program, but officials are hoping to double that number to extend services to a broader area.
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"Witnesses and survivors of (tragic) events are often in shock (and) feel completely helpless and confused," said Magda Stewart, CEO of TIP of Southwest Riverside County. "Our role is to provide emotional, practical support and to be there to support survivors. We are a force multiplier for first responders."
The county TIP chapter has been in operation since 1993, serving seven jurisdictions, five hospitals and five public safety agencies.
The national TIP organization was chartered in 1985 and provides guidance and support to the constituent parts.
Victims of sexual assault, car crash survivors and those who experienced tragedy stemming from suicide are among recipients of TIP volunteer care, according to the nonprofit.
Seniors who have no family and people traumatized by fires, floods and earthquakes also receive TIP volunteers' attention.
"These volunteers are our heart when we are in the midst of an emergency and trying to save a life," said Leah Patterson, executive director of critical care and emergency department services at Riverside University Medical Center in Moreno Valley. "We have a higher sense of peace knowing our TIP volunteers are here. They allow us to focus on our work because we know the patient's loved ones are receiving the support they need."
The training sessions involve a 55-hour commitment over eight days, mostly in the evenings.
Anyone interested in volunteering for the TIP service was asked to contact the nonprofit at 951-698-2453.
You can find more information by clicking here.