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Citizen's Adversity Support Team

Police Department Cast
Who is Cast?
What is Cast?
When are Cast Volunteers called to help?
How much time do volunteers spend with families?
Is Cast used often?
Why is Cast needed?
Cast Volunteers
For additional information on Cast

Who is CAST? A coalition of the Chula Vista Police and Fire C.A.S.T. Logo Departments, American Medical Response Services, Scripps Memorial Hospital, Sharp Chula Vista Medical Center, Glenn Abbey and Humphrey Mortuaries, and Greenwood has been added.
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What is CAST?
A Trauma intervention program utilizing trained volunteers to provide families of trauma victims with compassionate, supportive assistance when requested by first responders.
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WHEN ARE CAST VOLUNTEERS CALLED TO HELP?
Whenever first responders feel that the family members of the trauma victim, friends of the victim, or the victim are in need of emotional support and assistance. CAST members also provide important referral information. They guide the family through the difficult process of making necessary decisions after a death has occurred and assist wherever help is needed. CAST volunteers follow-up on all calls to determine if other assistance or resources are needed.

Volunteers work two 12-hour shifts per month. A volunteer is on duty 7 days per week, 24 hours each day for 365 days per year. Volunteers must be able to respond quickly and be at the requested location within twenty minutes of being called by the Dispatch Center of the Police Department.
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HOW MUCH TIME DO VOLUNTEERS SPEND WITH FAMILIES?
The time needed has varied from one to eleven hours on the initial call. In addition, more than one follow-up call may be necessary.
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IS CAST USED OFTEN? Since August 1993, volunteers have been called out over 1900 times. These calls have included deaths in the home, deaths in hospital Emergency Department, suicides, domestic violence, murder, Sudden Infant Deaths, shootings, motor vehicle accidents with injury or death, drownings, fires and various other traumatic situations. Feedback from families and first responders has all been positive.
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WHY IS CAST NEEDED? Volunteers 'fill the gap' in emergency services. Police Officers and Firefighters have long felt that someone was needed to assist family members during a trauma since the attention of the first responders must be focused on the victim. CAST completes the circle of services and provides a 'comfort net' for the community.
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CAST VOLUNTEERS receive extensive training on communication skills, death and dying, suicides, homicides, emotional first aid, domestic violence, substance abuse, victimology, support groups, community resources, first responder services, elder issues and child abuse. The importance of confidentiality is stressed.
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FOR ADDITIONAL INFORMATION ON CAST: Call Emerald Randolph, Program Director at 619-691-5213. Training sessions for volunteers are scheduled once each year in the early spring.

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