Crisis response training is set for Oct. and November

Published 9:07 am Friday, September 6, 2013

In the aftermath of the tornadoes in 2010 in the area, the Crisis Response Team of Freeborn County provided emotional support as residents began to pick up the pieces.

The team, made up of 33 volunteers trained to go out in the area and be supportive of people traumatized by natural or man-made disasters, has also offered support after armed robberies, vehicle crashes and school shootings, to name a few.

“I enjoy the rewards you get from helping people at a time of crisis,” said Jerry Rasmusson, president of the team.

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The Crisis Response Team, which started in 1999, is looking for additional volunteers — high school age and older — who would like to help community members. The team can give people a listening ear and support, give presentations on trauma and conduct interventions.

To become a Crisis Response Team volunteer, people need to go through an initial 24-hour National Organization for Victim Assistance training. Training dates have been set up for Oct. 19 and 26 and Nov. 2. There is also ongoing training.

Rasmusson said the Freeborn County team is the only NOVA-trained team in Minnesota and in the past has been called to assist both inside and outside of the state.

The team used to be under Freeborn County jurisdiction, was disbanded in 2011 during the state government shutdown. It was reactivated in 2012 as a nonprofit corporation.

Rasmusson said people interested in becoming part of the team should contact him by Sept. 20 at 373-8661 or contact Imogene Opdahl at 383-1234.

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