$2.1 million will support MPHS victims, responders

By Diana Hefley, The Herald



MARYSVILLE — The federal government announced Friday it will provide $2.1 million dollars to support victims, witnesses and first responders affected by last year’s shootings at Marysville Pilchuck High School.

The grant will pay for mental health and victim services, additional school counselors, suicide prevention efforts and other programs at the high school and throughout the district.

“We’re excited about this and what we’ll be able to do,” said Marge Fairweather, the executive director of Victim Support Services.

The nonprofit provides two trauma therapists who mainly work with students at Marysville Pilchuck. Fairweather plans to hire a case manager and third therapist to reach more students in other schools.

On Oct. 24, 2014, a high school freshman shot his friends. Four students were killed and a fifth was seriously wounded. Shooter Jaylen Fryberg, 15, then killed himself.

The school district, Marysville, the Tulalip Tribes, Victim Support Services and Volunteers of America initially applied for $4.2 million. The amount was refined to meet the guidelines established by the U.S. Department of Justice’s Office for Victims of Crime.

After the 1995 Oklahoma City bombing, Congress authorized the office to set aside $50 million a year to provide grants to victims and first responders after acts of terrorism or mass violence. The money comes from bond forfeitures and fines paid by white-collar criminals.

The federal office provided a $7.1 million grant for recovery efforts after a gunman in 2012 killed 20 students and six adults at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut.

CERT Training Returns to Tulalip

Submitted by Sandy Evans, RN, MPH, Tulalip Medical Reserve Corps Coordinator

Following a major disaster, first responders who provide fire and medical services will not be able to meet the demand for these services. Factors such as number of victims, communication failures and road blockages will prevent people from accessing emergency services they have come to expect at a moment’s notice through 911. People will have to rely on each other for help in order to meet their immediate life saving and life sustaining needs.

The Community Emergency Response Team (CERT) Program educates individuals about disaster preparedness and trains community members to take care of themselves until first responders are available. The CERT Program offers training in basic disaster response skills, such as fire safety, light search and rescue, and disaster medical operations. With proper CERT training, you can help protect your family, neighbors, and co-workers if a disaster occurs.

The last time a CERT program was offered to Tulalip was in the spring of 2010 and the Tulalip Office of Emergency Management and the Tulalip Medical Reserve Corps have since then received requests for this preparedness training.

In preparation to deliver this program, last April Medical Reserve Corps members Floyd Bannister, Jr., Cindy Pruden and Eric Cortez attended training that provided them the knowledge, skills and abilities to instruct CERT training in our community. They have also been prepared to be CERT program managers.

The course will be held at the Tulalip Bay Fire Department facility, 7812 Waterworks Road, over 9 sessions starting Monday October 26th. The classes will run from 5:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. on Mondays and Thursdays, ending on November 23rd. The Fire District and other knowledgeable presenters will be assisting Eric and Floyd with this training.

Because this program is new to the presenters, only 20 participants will be accepted for this session, but training is planned to be offered twice a year. Participants must be 14 years of age or older. Attendance at all classes is required for CERT certification.

People who go through CERT training have a better understanding of the potential threats to their home, workplace and community and can take the right steps to lessen the effects of these hazards on themselves, their families, and their community.

The following waiver can be emailed to:  TulalipCERT@tulaliptribes-nsn.gov or you may request that a copy be sent to you.


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