Trauma Intervention Program (TIP)

Vancouver Fire Department

Looking for a rewarding volunteer opportunity? The Vancouver TIP Chapter is looking for Good Samaritans to become TIP Volunteers. TIP is a national non-profit organization of specially- trained citizen volunteers who help others in crisis. Once a year they recruit and train additional volunteers.

TIP was founded in 1985 in San Diego , California by a mental health professional who discovered that people who are left alone immediately after a traumatic event would often need long-term care later on. In response, he joined with police, fire, medical examiners and emergency room personnel to develop the TIP volunteer program. In 1991 he won the Innovations Award from Harvard University and the Ford Foundation. They presented him with a $100,000 grant to go nationwide. Portland , Oregon was picked as the target city to replicate the program, and since that time, TIP has spread to 108 cities across the nation. Last year, TIP was recognized with the prestigious 2000 Crime Victims Service Award presented in Washington D.C. by Attorney General Janet Reno.

TIP Volunteers are called to emergency scenes and homes to provide immediate emotional and practical support to victims and their families when something bad/traumatic has happened. Some of the victims aided by TIP are family members following the death of a loved one, survivors of suicide, victims of crime, children whose parents have been killed or injured, victims of fire and auto accidents or disoriented older persons. These are often people that emergency responders may not have time to assist. TIP volunteers will stay with the client until family or other support arrives so they are not left alone. Volunteers go where they are requested. They do not listen to scanners or stop on the highway. At the scene, TIP volunteers provide a human presence and referrals to ongoing care or support services. They make follow-up calls and offer any other information or referrals that might be needed.

Vancouver, Washington is the first area in the State of Washington with a TIP Chapter. There are 35 adults and 19 teens in the Clark County Area who volunteer in this busy chapter. These volunteers are responding to over 40 calls per month and average an 18-minute response time. All volunteers have graduated from the National TIP Training Academy, which is almost 60-hours in a 2-1/2 week period. All prospective TIP volunteers have their backgrounds checked and are fingerprinted. The Training Academy is an on-going assessment process. This training and screening process ensures professionalism.

The partnership between TIP and the City of Vancouver Fire Department and Police Department fills a gap in emergency response services and helping decrease the cost of public safety by involving citizens in support tasks which are currently performed by emergency personnel. It actively involves citizens in local government in a meaningful way.

Become a part of this exciting volunteer opportunity in partnership with the Vancouver Fire Department.


Jordan Johnson, Crisis Team Manager at (503) 823-3937 or visit