New event supports the work of volunteers who calm those in crisis

Find out more about the work of the folks who put on this cruise-in – and, why they do it …

On one of the few sunny days this past June, Mt. Hood provided a scenic background for the 1st Annual TIP Cruise-In and Cook Out.

Story and photos by David F. Ashton
Unless you’ve found yourself in a very disturbing situation – like the traumatic death of a loved one, or a devastating fire – you probably haven’t met volunteers from the “Trauma Intervention Program” of Portland and Vancouver.

“We are a group of specially-trained citizen volunteers who respond to other neighbors in crisis,” explained the organization’s executive director, June Vining, at their June 6 event. “We are called out by fire, police, or the medical examiner to go on-scene, and provide immediate, practical emotional support to people in crisis.”

Jordan Schmidt, assistant crisis team manager, and June Vining, executive director of Trauma Intervention Program of Portland and Vancouver, at their first public fundraising event.

“We’re hosting our ‘1st Annual TIP Cruise-In and Cook Out’ today, here at Portland Fire & Rescue’s Station 2 in Parkrose,” Vining greeted us. “It’s a fundraiser that will benefit the volunteer citizen crisis response team, and help people learn more about what we do.”

The cruise-in was well attended, with just over 100 entries. “We’ll be giving out 13 category awards today, based on the voting by those who attend,” Vining said.

Steve Nicholson proudly shows off his 1965 Corvette. “It’s lots of fun to drive, especially on a day like this,” he says.

A firefighter from Portland Fire & Rescue Station 15, Justin de Ruiter, is cooking up burgers, along with his compatriots from Portland Professional Firefighters Association IAFF Local 43.

In addition to the cool cars and trucks on display, The Touchables provided music, and the event also offered the opportunity to participate in a cake walk – and enjoy food cooked by the Portland Firefighters Union, and Hawaiian food from Bamboo Hawaiian Grill.

About 100 specialty vehicles, hot rods, and custom cars gave visitors plenty to look at during the event.

Helps support work of 200 volunteers
“This fundraiser is going to give us money to help us keep our 200 volunteers equipped with literature and information to help people in crisis,” Vining pointed out. “When we go on-scene, it helps to be able to immediately provide people in crisis with resources.”

If you have what it takes to be a TIP volunteer, to help those who are emotionally traumatized in emergency situations receive the assistance they need, take a few minutes to learn more about the organization.

“You could become a well-trained citizen volunteer who helps out at emergency scenes to assist family members, witnesses, and other bystanders who the emergency system often must leave behind,” Vining explained. “Our next training academy begins in January, 2011.”

> To learn more about TIP Northwest, visit their website: CLICK HERE.

From our Front Page: TIP staffer Keri White displays one of the colorful T-shirt designs available at their event.

© 2010 David F. Ashton ~ East Portland News

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