The Critical Response Childcare Team is responding to the crash of Continental Connection Flight 3407 in which 50 people were killed late last evening close to Buffalo, N.Y. The Critical Response Childcare Team is a part of the Children’s Disaster Services ministry of the Church of the Brethren.
Judy Bezon, director of Children’s Disaster Services, will be part of the team in Buffalo, along with Don and Barb Weaver, who are serving as team leaders, and two other trained volunteers. The team is offering services at a hotel where families of the crash victims are gathering.
“The presence of a compassionate care giver, along with carefully selected play activities, has a significant impact on the recovery of a child who has experienced the trauma of such a loss,” Bezon said.
Children’s Disaster Services was invited by the American Red Cross to be a part of their Critical Response Team in 1997. The Critical Response Childcare Team is a group of experienced Children’s Disaster Services volunteers who have received additional training that prepares them to work with children after an aviation incident or other mass casualty event.
A six-member team is on call each month, ready to travel within four hours of deployment by the American Red Cross. When the volunteers arrive, they work in a Family Assistance Center, where those impacted by the incident participate in briefings and receive support from the Red Cross.
Since 1997, the Critical Response Childcare Team has responded to the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, and seven aviation incidents. Last month, the team was contacted by the American Red Cross to be ready to respond to the water landing of the airliner in the Hudson River. Fortunately, that was not necessary, as everyone survived the “double bird hit” engine failure.
Visit the Children’s Disater Services website for more information or call the Children’s Disaster Services Office in New Windsor, Md., at 800-451-4407.