Group helps grieving victims in aftermath of shootings - 8 News NOW

Group helps grieving victims in aftermath of shootings

Posted: Updated:
LAS VEGAS -- One organization is stepping in to help those dealing with the emotional toll this weekend's tragedy is having on first responders.

People have been coming to the memorial at Cici’s Pizza restaurant paying their respects and grieving along with the community.

The Trauma Intervention Program, otherwise known as TIP, helps a grieving family in the wake of any tragedy for immediate healing.

Jill Bernacki leads the non-profit organization and said her volunteers were at the shooting location just minutes after it took place.

"Some people just need someone to be there with them, they need a hand to hold, or a shoulder to cry on,” Bernacki said. "This was big; this was very big. We've seen big before but I think this was the first time certainly, seeing two officers die like this."

Specially trained volunteers helped people in the wake of the tragedy by being at the hospital and comforting the officers' families. TIP members consoled the family of the heroic civilian that tried to stop the madness along with employees that witnessed the horror.

"They definitely needed emotional support, practical support they just needed an ear, several of them just wanted to talk it out,” Bernacki said.

The program usually helps civilians dealing with death, but this time it was different.

Christian Raymer is a former volunteer and now the Director of Development for TIP. He said the outpouring of support has made a difference for those forever changed by the shooting.

"Several of my friends, who work in Metro or work in that industry, they are some of the toughest people I know,” Raymer said. “Holding them as they break down in tears, or watching them cry when we're usually the ones are the tough people, that will be something I'll never forget."

Volunteers spend three months preparing and training for helping at scenes and then undergo more training each month after.

Metro Police has an internal program which assists officers in dealing with this type of tragedy as well.

Powered by WorldNow
All content © Copyright 2000 - 2014 WorldNow and KLAS. All Rights Reserved.
For more information on this site, please read our Privacy Policy and Terms of Service.