October 21, 2014

Medina
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Team seeks new members to help students during tragedy

MEDINA — A team of counselors who help students and staff during times of tragedy is seeking new members.

The Medina County Schools’ Crisis Response Team sends counselors it trains to assist school students and staff immediately following a tragedy, such as a death or serious incident involving a student or staff member.

Gayle Telford, who helped found the team in 2002, said members include teachers, school staff members and other community support agencies and counselors — “really anyone who regularly works with kids.”

The only requirement is to take the upcoming training course, she said.

The team hosts required training every two years, titled “Managing School Crisis,” created by the International Critical Incident Stress Foundation.

Team members also must pass a background check, she said.

Telford said everyone gets the same training “so all the districts would have the same protocols in place when responding to tragedies.”

“We try to get as many people trained as we can,” she said. “When there’s a situation, not everyone is able to respond.”

Telford said some members can’t respond because they work at the school affected by the tragedy and are too emotionally involved.

“So we’re always looking to add more people,” she said.

The training costs $150 for the two-day course, but members who already have taken the course can take the second day only as a refresher for $75.

Continuing education credits are available for counselors, social workers, nurses and teachers.

The course is 8 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. Oct. 24 and 25 at Western Reserve Masonic Community, 4931 Nettleton Road, Medina Township. To register, call Liz Swartz at (330) 725-8461, ext. 269, or email swartz@mcjvs.org.

Contact reporter Loren Genson at (330) 721-4063 or lgenson@medina-gazette.com.