Crisis Response Team is looking for volunteers to assist individuals and families

Christopher Lomahquahu 
Gila River Indian News


A Community initiative to recruit volunteers is currently open to those who have an interest in helping those in need of support. The Gila River Fire Department Crisis Response Team looks to hire volunteers to assist individuals or families during traumatic events. 


“It was put into place to help our Community members at their worst, such as house fires, homicides, suicide, car accidents and other traumatic events,” said GRFD Fire Chief Kathy Garcia.


 Volunteers will have a list of resources for people to contact, such as service centers, Red Cross, hospitals, and food banks. 

The resources offer a way of allowing individuals and families to contact people when they’re in need of resources and referrals to help them through their difficult times. 


“There are some Community members that may not need it, but we also know there are others that might need to utilize the crisis team on what to do or where to go to,” said Garcia. 


She said, “[We’ve] had people thank us for the Crisis Response Team member staying with them at the hospital, bringing food to their family or bringing other items they needed at the time.” 


The program is hiring individuals for all-volunteer positions that requires them to fulfill on-duty time and maintain training requirements to stay in good standing as a volunteer. 


The hours are flexible for individuals who work or go to school full-time, and for those with families according to Garcia.

“They will receive crisis intervention training, attend a Gila River specific training on cultural awareness, radio communication, incident reporting and area familiarization to GRIC,” said Garcia.  


They also have to undergo a 15-passenger response van training, psychological first aid training and CPR/Automatic External Defibrillator (AED) training and ride along with emergency crews, to prepare them for their roles as crisis response volunteers. 

Garcia stressed the importance of professionalism, confidentiality and the ability handle traumatic events. 


She said it is also important that volunteers know their limits and have patience when they are working with individuals in times of crisis.

To volunteer you must be 21-years-of-age, have high school diploma or GED, able to stand for two-plus hours, ability to carry 50 pounds, have a valid driver’s license, and undergo a panel interview. Additional requirements are fingerprinting/criminal background check, and mandatory drug testing. 


The position is not a pipeline to becoming a firefighter, but offers volunteers a chance to speak, see and understand what the job demands. Individuals interested in becoming a volunteer, can go to job opportunities page to apply. For questions, contact the Crisis Response Team Program Manager at (520) 610-0769.