FROM WILLIAM BARTON, COMMITTEE CHAIR (Winter 2017 Newsletter article)


Thanks to all who attended the fantastic workshop in late October held at the Marin Emergency Operations Center (EOP) 1600 Los Gamos, San Rafael and led ably by experienced trauma response veteran, Frank Cox. The overall topic was being prepared for “The Big One”. We had approximately 30 in attendance for the 4-hour presentation, which included an enlightening tour of the huge rooms that are set up for disaster response adjacent to another large room housing our community 911 call center. It is very impressive facility and well staffed. I hope that we can have a similar experience every two to three years to help team members have a clearer pulse on how our county operates. 


As the new Trauma Response Team Chair, I inherit big shoes to fill for the wonderful dedication and service that Jacqueline Ladrech has supplied since our team inception in 1991. Our entire team thanks her and Elizabeth Thompson, who worked side-by-side for years teaching us. We are seeking to expand our team and add new members as the old guard is aging! I intend to have two team meetings a year and will work to provide one of those as a CEU workshop/training. Please consider joining our team today and contact me for an application. I intend to reach out to county psychologists to see if some might consider joining our team as well. While earthquakes are a constant potential disaster, we are vulnerable to other types of emergencies, as well. The Oakland warehouse fire has affected us all on some level. Devastatingly sad. With the change in political climate and unknowns ahead many of our families and immigrant families in particular are on high alert and very fearful. School children of all ages are being traumatized. Perhaps our team can work to provide a pro bono benefit to offer help to the overloaded school counselors. I welcome your support, ideas and help to make our team even better. I also would like to emphasize that each team member should endeavor to be as well prepared as possible and not procrastinate on setting up their homes and cars for the unexpected!



FROM JACQUE LADRECH, PAST COMMITTEE CHAIR (Winter 2016 Newsletter article)


2015 has been an active year for the TRT.  First of all, Elizabeth Thompson has retired from co-chairing the team after many years of dedicated work for the team and for the field of disaster mental health through her work with the Red Cross and the County of Marin.  Thank you Elizabeth, for all that you have contributed. 

In May and June members of the team participated in updated trainings with the Red Cross, and, now, they are all “on boarded”, and ready to respond with the Red Cross.  In October we had a DMH/Critical Incident training given by Greg Child, LMFT.  In the spring we are planning a meeting with Kate Garay, who is the MRC (Medical Reserve Corp) lead for Marin County.  She is going to introduce the team to the possibility of working with the MRC.  This would give us another responding organization to partner with.  More detains on that meeting to come.  It has been our team philosophy to continue to participate in trainings in order to be current and ready to respond to an event that we hope never happens.

In November I was able to help the victims of the Valley Fire through the Red Cross, the MRC and through CCN (Crisis Care Network).  It was very sad to see the terrible devastation caused by the drought fueled, fast moving fire in Lake County. There were so many people who literally ran for their lives, and lost their homes, cars, businesses and sense of safety. It was very rewarding being able to play a small part in their recovery and journey to start rebuilding their lives.  Unfortunately, their needs will be great and will continue for a long time.  


A HISTORY OF MARIN CAMFT's TRAUMA RESPONSE TEAM 


In 1990 the MCAMFT board, headed by Board President, Daniel Sonkin, decided to establish a Disaster Response Team in the aftermath of the Loma Prieta Earthquake in October 1989.   Those of us on the Board were frustrated in our efforts to help and became aware that our therapy skills were not enough to effectively respond during a disaster.  We arranged for Diane Myers, RN, a nationally known expert in Disaster Mental Health to train a groups of interested LMFTs.  Our DRT was headed by Daniel Sonkin until 1996, at which time Jacqueline Ladrech and Elizabeth Thompson became co-chairs of the team.  At some point the teams name was changed to the Trauma Response Team.

Over the years the team had numerous trainings focusing on: 

  • Disaster Mental Health 
  • Critical Incident Stress Management 
  • Violence in the Workplace 
  • Terrorism
  • Working with Children in a Disaster
  • Compassion Fatigue  

We also trained with the Red Cross because it is necessary to be associated with a responding organization in order to have access to victims.

Members of MCAMFT’s TRT have been able to give caring support to victims and first responders during many unfortunate disasters.  We responded to the Firestorm in the Berkeley Hills, the Vision fire in Inverness, the Polly Klaas volunteer center, 101 California St. shooting in SF, various response efforts after 9/11, and most recently, to the Valley Fire in Lake County.


For more information about the Marin CAMFT Trauma Response Team, please contact William Barton at:  415 755 9222 or by email: biobill@pacbell.net.




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