Crisis response team reactivated

Published 9:38 am Tuesday, June 26, 2012

The Crisis Response Team of Freeborn County, discontinued by the Freeborn County commissioners earlier this year, was reactivated last week as a nonprofit corporation.

A group of 33 volunteers, the team is trained to go out in the area and be supportive of people who have been traumatized by natural or man-made disasters, such as hurricanes, tornadoes, fires, floods, vehicle crashes and shootings, to name a few.

“We respond to crisis situations and give emotional support to the victims,” said board President Jerry Rasmusson. “We’ve responded in that way for about 14 years now.”

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Up until last year, the team had received financial support through Freeborn County. The group was headed up by former Crime Victims Crisis Center Coordinator Rose Olmsted.

During the state government shutdown last summer, the group was suspended, and earlier this year the Freeborn

County Board of Commissioners voted to discontinue the response team.

After that action, the volunteers made it a goal to become a nonprofit. The group is working toward a 501(c)(3) status, which he thinks will be complete by the end of the year.

Rasmusson said other agencies, county residents and even the National Organization for Victims Assistance — which the volunteers are trained under — have encouraged them to continue. They hope to provide the same services they have given since before 2000.

The team can give people a listening ear and support, give presentations on trauma and conduct interventions.

Volunteers are available 24 hours a day to respond to a crisis and can be reached at 383-5965.

Rasmusson estimated the team has responded to more than 40 different incidents since its inception in 1999.

They were a part of the Disaster Recovery Center following the June 17, 2010, tornadoes.