East Lansing Fire Department captain deployed to Uvalde Texas
EAST LANSING, Mich. (WILX) - Many emergency responders have specialized training they hope they never have to use. In extraordinary circumstances, it’s not unheard of for police or fire departments to lend out their experts to communities who require those skills.
Uvalde, Texas recently had need of one such expert from East Lansing.
The East Lansing Fire Department (ELFD) announced Friday they sent an expert in crisis support to Uvalde, to help those impacted by the recent mass shooting at Robb Elementary School. Capt. Jim Ladiski was deployed by the National Organization for Victim Assistance (NOVA) as a part of a trained crisis response team serving in the Resiliency Center that has been set up to support victims, victims’ families and other community members with connections to the victims.
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“In such a horrible, tragic time for that community, I was honored to be able to travel there and help in at least a very small way,” Ladiski said. “I also want to thank the City and ELFD leadership for allowing me to go, and my family at home and here at ELFD for stepping in to take over my responsibilities while I was away.”
Capt. Ladiski’s expertise in this field comes from training and certification in crisis response through NOVA. He was requested by the organization to serve for a week at the Center, which was set up to provide a variety of services to those who visited. Services at the Center included counseling, guidance on victim compensation, and legal matters, among other support services.
“Capt. Ladiski was paired with a team of three other individuals from throughout the country (all with different professional backgrounds) who would greet community members each day when they visited, sit down with them to determine their needs and connect them with the various agencies onsite providing support services,” City officials said in a release.
A therapy dog was also onsite each day to provide comfort to those who visited. Of his experience, Capt. Ladiski expressed admiration for the people of Uvalde.
“Uvalde is an extremely resilient and gracious community,” he said of his time in Texas. “I like to think that East Lansing was well represented down there.”
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