Local News


Hidden heroes: Meet the trauma assistance volunteers of Las Vegas

Posted at 7:12 AM, Nov 16, 2022
and last updated 2022-11-16 10:13:48-05

LAS VEGAS (KTNV) — A local non-profit called TIP (Trauma Intervention Program)provides emotional and practical support for people during times of tragedy. Soon, they’ll be looking for some new volunteers.

TIP volunteers walk into tragedy one to six times in a single shift. Police and fire departments, the coroners office, or hospitals will dispatch volunteers where they are needed at emergency events.

Without the training of a first responder, how do volunteers know what to do? The training is extensive. Volunteers go through a two-week academy during evenings and weekends. From there- they shadow a veteran firefighter for three months to get experience out in the field.

After a traumatic event, many feel helpless, confused and in shock. That’s where volunteers step in.

"For a lot of people, that's really what they need is just someone there beside them to go through these moments with them,” said Jill Roberts, CEO of TIP of Las Vegas. “But for other people, they may want to know the process of what's taking place. Where is my loved one going? What are they doing? So we're able to walk them through that process. For other people, it's helping them make phone calls to family members or giving them advice as far as how to tell the grandkids that Grandpa just died.”

Jordan Mynarcik has been a volunteer for nearly a year after signing up with her mom. She says the calls that really stick with her are the ones where people are truly alone and don’t have family or friends there to help them.

“It feels like such an honor to be with them. I was called to be with a mom that lost her young son at a hospital and her family was out of state for a competition or something like that. And so, she really was alone. Her and I were very close in age and we instantly formed a bond. I think of her every day because I was with her in those moments. It was so special, and I will always remember her forever,” Mynarcik said.

Right now, there are about 75 volunteers of all ages who work a few days a month. They will have another training academy in May where they’re hoping for more volunteers.

TIP also hosts trainings for first responders and hospital staff where they teach emotional support skills, coroner’s office procedures, and how to deal with death. One of those trainings is happening Wednesday, Nov. 16.

For other ways to help, there are donation options on the TIP website.