Welcome to the Department of Justice, Iowa Attorney General Tom Miller

For immediate release - Friday, October 5, 2001.

Contact Bob Brammer -- 515-281-6699.

Second Iowa Crisis Response Team Going to New York on Sunday

The Attorney General's Crime Victim Assistance Division organized a ten-person Iowa team that will spend next week in the New York area.



DES MOINES. Attorney General Tom Miller said today that a second Iowa "Crisis Response Team" will leave for New York City Sunday to assist in helping communities there cope with the emotional trauma resulting from the terrorist attacks on September 11.

The ten-person team leaves Des Moines at 8:30 a.m. Sunday and flies via United to Newark. The group will return October 14. A nine-person Iowa Crisis Response Team served in the New York area September 23-29.

"I am so proud that Iowa can send well-trained and compassionate people to help," Miller said. "It's extraordinarily difficult work, but it makes a big difference for victims of this tragedy."

The Iowa Crisis Response Team is organized by the Crime Victim Assistance Division of Miller's Office. The team members serving in the NYC area are among about 60 Iowans from various disciplines who have extensive training in helping communities cope and recover in the aftermath of major crimes or other large-scale trauma.

The second Iowa Crisis Response Team group is scheduled to staff the Family Assistance Center at Liberty State Park. The Center is in New Jersey just opposite the World Trade Center site and is connected with Ellis Island near the Statue of Liberty. Liberty Park was used as a triage center where victims were taken by ferry boat on September 11.

"Over 1500 persons from New Jersey are dead or missing in the World Trade Center disaster," Miller said. "The Liberty Park Family Assistance Center is set up to help their families."

The Iowans usually will serve as "companions" and counselors, typically accompanying survivors or victims for 3-5 hours as they work through various sources of help and information, including: state victim compensation programs; state job services; state motor vehicle services (since vehicles and licenses were destroyed); state human service departments; the FBI (to provide DNA samples of missing persons, e.g.); the state attorney general's office (to apply for death certifi-cates for missing persons); and non-profit agencies such as the Red Cross and Salvation Army.

The first Iowa Crisis Response Team performed numerous duties around the NYC area, including working with pilots and flight attendants at JFK airport, conducting group crisis intervention sessions to help survivors cope with emotional trauma, working with employees of businesses located close to Ground Zero, and coordinating scheduling and assignments for other states' crisis response teams.

Members of the Second Iowa Crisis Response Team are: Sue Stewart-Lodmell, Team Leader, Colona IL, Victim-Witness Coordinator, US Attorney's Office for So. Dist. of Iowa; Judy Pancratz, Team Manager, Davenport, school social worker; Linda Zwald Ryan, Muscatine, Head School Psychologist, Mississippi Bend Area Education Agency; Julie Swanston, Des Moines, Victim Compensation Administrator, Attorney General's Crime Victim Assistance Division; Marcia Bunn, Clear Lake, adult advocate at Crisis Intervention Services, Mason City; Ginny Naso, Iowa City, Associate Director, United Action for Youth; Elaine Haugen, Ankeny, Parish Health Ministry, Holy Trinity Lutheran Church; Barbara Bobb, Des Moines, Program Manager for the New Iowan Center, Iowa Workforce Development; Matthew Peterson, Davenport, residential officer 7th Judicial District, clergyperson; Leonard Fuller, Fort Dodge, Violent Crime Support Advocate, Domestic & Sexual Assault Outreach Center.

Teams from Arkansas, Georgia, and Pennsylvania will be working with the Iowans. The state crisis response teams are coordinated by NOVA, the National Organization for Victim Assistance.



Background:

The full Iowa Crisis Response Team consists of about 60 Iowa volunteers from various disciplines, including victim advocates, mental health professionals, child psychologists, educators, health professionals, clergy persons, and peace officers. All have completed extensive training in the special task of serving communities in the wake of a crime-related disaster. Iowa Response Team individuals have responded to community crime-related trauma situations in Salt Lake City, Little Rock AR, and several locations in Iowa including Marshalltown, Woodward, and Ft. Dodge.

Specific Iowa response teams can be assembled on 24-hours' notice. When the disaster hit New York, Washington, and Pennsylvania on Sept. 11, the full roster of volunteers was notified and put on alert in case Iowa was asked to send a team or teams. Volunteers and their Iowa employers contribute their time.

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