What is a Crisis Response Team (CRT)?

A Crisis Response Team is a group of individuals trained to provide trauma mitigation and education in the aftermath of a critical incident, either small-scale or mass-casualty, scaling the response to the need, from one individual to thousands (i.e., the “Walking Worried”).

NOVA CRT training participants have a minimum of twenty-four hours of skill-based, field-tested training. These teams could be state coordinated (e.g. out of a state attorney general’s office) or local teams (e.g., a school district). Most teams have extensive training and experience in the widest range of traumatic events, from shootings to natural disasters.

How does the NOVA CRT fit in NOVA’s mission?

Crisis response is a key element of fulfilling NOVA’s mission to champion dignity and compassion for those harmed by crime and crisis. Trauma has common reactions but the cause of the trauma, from wide-area natural disasters to multiple victim violence crimes, have different layers and dimensions. There are organizations that focus on criminal victim advocacy and others that deal with disaster relief. NOVA is unique in that it incorporates extensive skill and experience in training a vast network of responders in a broad range of needs that stem from criminal and crisis victimization.

How are NOVA CRTs trained?

In over twenty-six years of providing crisis response training, service and management consultation, NOVA has trained over ten thousand people to provide basic crisis response services.  While NOVA’s Basic Community Crisis Response Team training is twenty-four hours, there is an extended forty-hour version that some prefer. There is also an Advanced CRT that is twenty-four hours.  All official NOVA training has to be provided by a NOVA-approved trainer.

NOVA-trained responders represent a wide range of contexts and vocations. NOVA CRT training is used by tribal communities, mental health professionals, first responders, school counselors, human resource departments and victim advocates, just to name a few.

How are NOVA CRTs deployed?

A more precise question is, How are NOVA-trained individuals deployed? With thousands of trained responders all over North America as well as other parts of the world, NOVA-trained crisis responders are likely present in many mass-casualty crises around the nation. Commonly, NOVA-trained responders are involved in one of three ways including—

• In their professional response roles (first responder, public official, etc.) but using skills from the NOVA training to serve.

• By responding  with the state or local NOVA-trained Crisis Response Team.

• By official deployment from the NOVA headquarters. NOVA only deploys with an official invitation from an authorized individuals.  Most invitations are referred back to a state or local team with expressed support for mutual aid if needed. Some national deployments, because of the scale, scope, media exposure or expertise specifically requested, are coordinated through NOVA’s national office. While the level of need dictates the response, the National Crisis Responder Credentialing Program can be the first-call list.

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