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Phoenix-area fire department searching for volunteers to join crisis response team

(KTAR Photo/Mike Sackley)

PHOENIX — One Phoenix-area fire department is searching for volunteers to participate in a unique department in order to help people at a time they may need it most.

Chandler Fire Department officials are looking for volunteers to be a part of its Crisis Response Unit, a team of people who comfort accident victims in their time of need. The unit is comprised of “trained professionals, Masters level interns, and volunteers who support the department’s social service efforts,” according to a recent press release.

Jessica Westmiller with the Crisis Response Unit said even though social workers or people trained in behavioral health and child welfare make ideal candidates, the department is searching for volunteers who are empathetic to others.

“(We’re looking for) caring, kind individuals who want to be part of a great team,” she said.

Westmiller said the unit responds to anyone who calls 911 with an “emotional need attached to their crisis.” The unit works closely with individuals who are in the midst of trauma, grief or a critical incident to tend to their emotions and help them get through the incident.

Chandler Fire Chief Jeff Clark said volunteers with the Crisis Response Unit provide invaluable support to these victims affected by tragedy.

“It takes dedication, professionalism, and a lot of compassion and understanding to serve in this role,” he said in the press release. “Our Fire and Police personnel are always grateful for their assistance in a time of crisis.”

In order to be considered for a volunteer position, potential volunteers must attend an orientation meeting on Jan. 19 at 7 p.m. at the Chandler Fire, Health and Medical Department headquarters at 151 E. Boston Street in Chandler.

Volunteers must be 21 or older, will be required to attend Regional Crisis Intervention Academy training, specific Chandler Fire, Health and Medical Department and Police Department training and will be required to attend quarterly meetings.

KTAR News’ Brian Rackham contributed to this report. 

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