- Associated Press - Sunday, December 9, 2018

ROCHESTER, N.H. (AP) - An organization that helps people who are dealing with emotional trauma such as an unexpected death is looking for more volunteers to better serve the two counties along the New Hampshire Seacoast where it operates.

The need for the services provided by the organization Victims Inc. is becoming more acute as drug overdoses continue to plague New Hampshire.

Fosters.com reports that for decades, the nonprofit has provided immediate on-scene and continuing support to victims of fires, fatal crashes, suicides, drownings, crimes, sudden child deaths and other serious incidents in Strafford and Rockingham counties.

In the organization’s Rochester office, quilts hang on the wall that tell the story of some of the people with whom the organization has worked.

“Each of them have such a story,” said Executive Director Pat Rainboth. “Those are the kinds of things I get a chill about all these years later… It’s a real imprint, a real intimate work.”

The organization needs people to be on call a couple of times a month to ensure families aren’t alone when they are dealing with an emotionally challenging incident.

For volunteers, the main criteria is compassion. All volunteers must complete one of the organization’s two annual, 60-hour training sessions, which are spaced out over eight Saturdays. The next training session begins in February.

Before Rochester Police Sgt. Mike Miehle became a police officer, he was a Victims Inc. trauma volunteer while he worked as a U.S. Coast Guard first responder.

“They’re doing something critically important to the long-term health for families after a traumatic event,” Miehle said. “It’s something I think is very critical and very important to a community’s response on the whole.”

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