Emergency Service

Help After The Fire Is Out

Here is a project being launched by the Boise Fire Department that is worthy of consideration–sort of like a patient advocate program. It may duplicate some Red Cross services, but it sounds like a parallel effort.




“Good Samaritans Wanted To Assist Deputy Sheriffs, Firefighters and Paramedics”

The Trauma Intervention Program of the Treasure Valley is seeking citizen volunteers for its crisis intervention program. Volunteers will be trained to help fellow residents who have experienced a tragedy in their lives. Volunteers are called to emergency scenes by deputy sheriffs, firefighters, and paramedics to assist family members after a sudden death, disoriented older persons, and victims of other crisis situations.

“The first few hours after a crisis situation has occurred are very confusing for everyone involved,” said Wayne Fortin, program founder. “TIP volunteers provide the necessary temporary support to survivors of tragedy until they are able to depend on family members, friends and others.”

Firefighters assist a resident during a house fire in Boise. FILE PHOTO

Firefighters assist a resident during a house fire in Boise. FILE PHOTO

“We have found that volunteers from the community can be very effective helpers in the immediate aftermath of tragedy,” said Fortin. “They can provide basic emotional support, practical assistance, and referral to professionals. This support is very important to survivors, but often police officers and firefighters don’t have the time to provide it,” he said.

The Volunteer Training Academy begins on September 15th, 2016. No experience is necessary to attend training or to become a volunteer. To register go HERE or call (208) 794-9280

Comments & Discussion

Comments are closed for this post.

  1. So it really does take a village?

    good job Mr. Fortin.

  2. Not so fast, you've got goobs of money for that already
    Aug 16, 2016, 11:20 am

    Hmmm? The only problem I have with this is the Police and Fire budgets are absolutely gigantic. Perhaps less employee pay/benefit and more services and benefits to community members who find themselves in a pinch. If it’s gonna take a village, lets get the whole village involved?

    Also, could we please have an accounting of all the help which flows to people who refuse to buy insurance.

    Lastly Mr. Editor: What is the size of the police and fire budgets relative to the overall local tax revenue? I bet it’s more than the school system… but would enjoy to see some hard numbers. I think there should be a sign in front of each school, fire station, police station,and city hall which shows how much it cost the community today. Jaw dropping numbers folks!!!

    EDITOR NOTE–Police and fire budgets are just about half of the entire city budget. Police is highest. Total general fund budget is $208 million. POLICE budget is $61 million and FIRE is $52 million.

    This TIP program–we just found out today–is a national organization that collects about $25,000 a year from Boise to “coordinate” the volunteers. Probably do a lot of good, but something like a police/fire chaplain, or other group could provide similar services with a corps of volunteers. We were unaware the program has been in operation for 2 years and they are called upon 700 times in just the past 6 months. The “window” of help is only about 3 hours.

  3. Not so fast, you've got goobs of money for that already
    Aug 16, 2016, 3:03 pm

    Thank you for the budget numbers. Also wondering how many paid extras in the leadership of both Police and Fire. Wondering how many days of paid vacation and paid leave was taken last year by those in leadership of both departments.

    As for this new organization. It seems to be doing what the Red Cross already does. Why reinvent the wheel? Why doesn’t the local government promote participation in the establish programs with The Red Cross? If the Red Cross is falling short, why not directly support it with local funds?

  4. I think this volunteer program is a good idea and actually helps keep in check the police and fire budgets. Without the volunteers there would be requests from Police and Fire for more expensive employees to perform the same role.

    Unfortunately government has been called upon to do what the community used to naturally do in surrounding and supporting those who need help.

    As a society we have out-sourced what should be done by benevolent family members and neighbors to the government, and that comes at a cost in higher taxes for these additional services.

    This volunteer program seems like an opportunity to swing back to a community support model, not a government support model.

    EDITOR NOTE–We MAY have been too eager to jump on board. We need to do some checking, but this TIP deal is
    a national non-profit commercial venture that was apparently “sold” to local government leaders in Treasure Valley.

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