In the city of Los Angeles, first responders are joined by members of the Crisis Response Team at the scenes of nearly any death—shootings, car accidents, suicides, fires, etc.
The team’s purpose? To comfort “surviving victims”—loved ones of those lost.
The Times did an in-depth feature on the team which is operated out of L.A. City Hall. It is composed of individuals who have suffered loss, healthcare professionals, charity workers and “people seeking a kind of civic engagement where the rubber really hits the road.”
The team was formed 23 years ago by LAPD Capt. Tim King who was concerned with the city’s lack of an emergency responders outfit to provide “immediate emotional support to victims’ family members.”
It has since grown to 250 volunteers who are dispatched alongside police and firefighters. Just like the first responders, they are on-call throughout the day and often drive themselves to each scene with a trunk full of water bottles, granola bars, blankets, teddy bears and other resources for comfort or need.