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Volunteers Mobilize to Support Community After Family Tragedy

Santa Barbara Response Network Provides Psychological First Aid in Runaway Truck Aftermath


The Santa Barbara Response Network (SBRN) provided extensive Psychological First Aid in aftermath of the death of young family killed by the runaway truck.

Immediately upon hearing of the tragedy, the Santa Barbara Trauma Response Network was activated by its volunteer commander Christina Aguirre-Kolb, a school psychologist from Santa Barbara High. She mobilized a team of trained SBRN volunteers to go to Franklin Elementary School, where they were invited by the Principal Casie Killgore to provide assistance to the children, teachers and families. affected by the tragedy. The team continued to provide support in both English and Spanish in the following days. They held a community gathering at Franklin School for anyone impacted by the incident, (including a childrens group for local youth who had strong emotional reactions to the event. Groups in English and Spanish were conducted for neighbors and parents impacted by the tragedy.

The SBRN also offered support at the funeral services, held at Our Lady of Guadeloupe church, led by its Pastor Father Rafael, a key and founding member of the SBRN network.

A bi-lingual response team was present at an evening fundraising dinner at the Hope Ranch Motel. SBRN offered psychological support to the grieving extended family members who arrived from Los Angeles and Mexico. Psychological support was offered to the motel and restaurant employees directly impacted by the accident as well as dozens of shocked and traumatized community members who were visibly impacted by the tragedy.

The grieving extended family which included many small children requested that SBRN attend a family gathering on Saturday morning at the Hope Ranch Motel before they traveled back to Los Angeles and finally Mexico, where the three loved ones would be buried.

The SBRN continues to provide aid to anyone impacted and is reaching out to the first responders on the scene.. They also provided valuable follow-up resources and coping strategies to anyone in need.

SBRN Background

The SBRN is a group of over 100 volunteers — including mental health professionals, school personnel, religious professionals, public health officials, and community members — trained to deliver Psychological First Aid (PFA) and Post Traumatic Stress Management (PTSM). They were trained by Drs. Robert and Dicki Macy from the Boston Children’s Foundation.

The SBRN offers assistance to children, adolescents, adults, and families in the aftermath of trauma by establishing safety and security. They assist in connecting individuals to restorative resources to aid them in reducing stress related reactions and to help foster adaptive coping strategies. From a preventive perspective, the SBRN is also trained to provide socio-psychological educational programs that focus on well being that can help our community prevent or be better prepared to deal with such events when they occur.

The SBRN spokesperson Jina Carvalho of the Glendon Association can be contacted at 805-681-0415 ext 29 or at Jina@glendon.org. or 805-452-6457 (cell)

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