Cruise-In bolsters Trauma Intervention organization

Look here, and see why these people who help those who are facing the worst day of their lives, put on this fun annual event …

Cool cars and good times abound at the 3rd Annual Trauma Intervention Program of Portland and Vancouver Cruise-in.

Story and photos by David F. Ashton
The parking lot and training field of Portland Fire & Rescue Training Station 2 in Parkrose, located on NE 122nd Avenue, was filled with fun and joy as the Annual TIP Cruise-In got underway, on June 15 in outer East Portland.

“This is our third annual TIP Cruise-in,” said the Trauma Intervention Program of Portland and Vancouver (TIP) Crisis Team Manager, Barbara Benson, looking over a sea of 100 gleaming vehicles that were on display.

TIP Executive Director June Vining, volunteer AJ Johnson, and TIP Crisis Team Manager Barbara Benson, pause for a photo at the Cruise-In.

“As a nonprofit organization, we are always fund-raising,” Benson told East Portland News, about the car show put on by 40 of their organization’s volunteers.

“But, more than just a fundraiser, this has turned out to be a great community event. It helps us meet many people who are unfamiliar with TIP. It’s a good opportunity to spread the word about who we are, and what we do.”

Participant Nicklaus Ayres keeps polishing his dad’s 1968 Pontiac Firebird 400 – hoping, someday, that it will be his.

Portland Fire & Rescue Chief Training Officer Mark Kaiel and Battalion Chief Jim Forquer work the grill, as part of the TIP Cruise-in fundraiser.

The Trauma Intervention Program works with emergency “first-responders”, Benson explained. “When law enforcement, fire fighters, and paramedics come upon a crisis – they take care of the victims. These first-responders then call in TIP volunteers to provide support for the survivors, the neighbors, and the witnesses.”

With a pool of 188 volunteers from which to draw, their goal is to have a TIP-trained person respond to tragic events within about 20 minutes, providing “emotional first aid” and support for those on scene, after the emergency responders have gone on to their next call.

This Cruise-in combines fun in the sun with letting folks know about the service TIP provides to those in crisis, after a tragic event.

“It’s important to tell people that we are in both Portland and Vancouver,” Benson added. “We respond to both sides of the river.”

But, TIP is always looking for more volunteers, she said. “Many of our volunteers are with us for years, because they find it so rewarding.”

To learn more, see the TIP website: CLICK HERE.

© 2013 David F. Ashton ~ East Portland News

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