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How to Volunteer at the Next Major Disaster

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Residents of the Oakridge Mobile Home Park are escorted by LAPD to go in and get one bag of personal items from their homes which made it through the recent wildfire in Sylmar | AP Photo/Los Angeles Daily News

Today, Mayor Villaraigosa is encouraging residents to join the City of Los Angeles Crisis Response Team (CRT), a group of volunteer residents that go on scene of emergencies to provide crisis intervention and to give referrals for victims and families who have been traumatized by, a death, a serious injury, a violent crime or other traumatic incident.

But you just don't sign up and go out to fires and train crashes--it takes training and commitment. An eight week training session with classes twice a week will begin in January at a location in Westchester on the Westside. Volunteers must be 21 years old and in good physical condition.

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The program is especially in need of volunteers with bilingual capability in Spanish or Korean. For those interested, they should contact Jeffrey Zimerman, Crisis Response Team Manager at 213-978-0697 or by e-mail: LACRT@lacity.org.