The Ohio Crisis Response Team

Responding to communities in
  the aftermath of traumatic events

About Us

In February of 1996, a team of Ohio professionals trained in the National Organization for VIctim Assistance (NOVA) Community Crisis Response model  officially formed the Ohio Crisis Response Team (OCRT).  Their areas of specialization include law enforcement, victim advocacy, nursing, the ministry, education and a variety of other disciplines.  These professionals provide volunteer services through OCRT with the approval and support of their employers. The  NOVA model has been effectively applied in the aftermath of such disasters as the Oklahoma City bombing, The September 11 terrorist attacks,  school shootings such as those in  Paducah ,Kentucky and Jonesboro, Arkansas, and Springfield, Oregon as well as after natural disasters such as  Hurricane Katrina.  OCRT team members have responded to many of these national events.  
The Ohio Crisis response team may be helpful to communities in response to a wide variety of situations, and the team is available at no charge to any jurisdiction requesting assistance.  The OCRT brings its experience from its participation on many of NOVA'S national crisis responses to local Ohio communities in crisis. The team applies that experience in its response to local incidents which are as traumatic in their impact as those gaining national attention.  However, OCRT will only deploy a team when an invitation to respond is issued by someone with the authority to bring the team into the community. 

Following are some examples of services that OCRT provides:

*In the event of a crisis in a community, each individual reacts with different emotions.  The local professionals in the community may also be  affected by the catastrophe and may be experiencing their own sense of shock.  It may be effective to bring an outside team into the community for a short period of time to assist in the aftermath of a trauma and provide educational information. The OCRT team can help by bringing the community together to talk about their reactions to the traumatic event and can train local professionals to continue to provide psychological first aid and support in the days, weeks and months after the community crisis. 

*The OCRT team is available to provide assistance in such situations as  school bus accidents, shootings, the death of a child or co-worker, drunk driving crashes, etc.  The request from local decision-makers for outside assistance sends a message to the community that they are being provided with support from a team with expertise in responding to similiar incidents at the local state, and national levels.   The OCRT teams services range from phone consultation  and mailing informational materials to  helping the local officials identify the at-risk groups and providing  group crisis intervention sessions for those identified.  The team may come into the community and provide training to the local care givers who will be communicating  or supporting those groups for the long term. 

*The team can provide psychological first aid to victims and survivors in private meetings to help them cope with the trauma incident they have experienced.   An example may be a school bus accident where children have been injured or died.  Interventions might be held with the surviving children, parents of the children, other members of the school community,the first responders to the scene, and others with connections to or who have been impacted by the injury or loss of the children.   

*The OCRT team has also used this model to assist in one -on -one interventions with individuals who have experienced a traumatic event. They have worked  with law enforcement after response to traumatic incidents or officer-related shootings and at the request of local judges, to assist with jury interventions upon thier completion of service as jurors for trials involving horrific crimes and graphic evidence.     

The ultimate goal of the OCRT is to assist in reducing trauma to the community, consulting with and training local decision-makers and caregivers to enable them to effectively cope with the crisis situation.  

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