Muskoka Victim Services is looking for some helpful people.

A call out for more volunteers is being made to make sure when there are stressful events involving police, fire or ambulance, there is someone on hand to help comfort anyone affected by those events.

Jody North is the Program Volunteer Coordinator and she explains the vital role played by those in the field at the scene of crimes and tragedies.

“They are trained to provide support to victims,” she says. “So we work alongside police, EMS and the hospital to show up in someone’s time of need.”

Currently, the organization is in dire need of volunteers, with an example of the shortage being shown in the 157 per cent increase in crisis calls this past August.

“We’ve seen a big boom and bloom in crises in the community, unfortunately,” offers North.

North is not sure if the increase in call requests is a result of an overall bump in crimes and tragic events in the area or an increased awareness of the existence of the Muskoka Victim Services organization.

“If it is, in fact, people knowing more about what we do and asking for assistance then that is probably a positive thing,” she says.

Currently, they are looking to fill around 60 spots to provide adequate coverage 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

“Folks pick their own shifts and do a minimum of three 12 hour shifts per month,” North explains. “It is not a big amount of time we are asking for, but it is a high level of commitment as far as skill and really understanding the position.

“We do require volunteers to go through some training and prepare for the role because it is quite an intense volunteer position.”

Victim services will be brought in for situations such as car crashes with injuries, violent crime scenes, natural disasters such as fires and floods. While first responders are dealing with the issues at hand, volunteers can comfort victims, organize phone calls, move people to a more comfortable area and overall provide attention.

To volunteer, you are encouraged to fill out an application on the Muskoka Victim Services website by clicking here.