The Sunflower County Fire Coordinator's Office and the West Delta Chapter of the American Red Cross have joined forces to create the Victim Impact Assistance Program.

Victim Impact Assistance is a program designed to provide fire victims immediate relief after a fire - and in many cases even before the fire department leaves the scene. Utilizing American Red Cross resources, fire victims are given up to $125 per family for food and/or clothing. Also, in some situations, victims can be provided with up to two night's lodging at a local motel while more permanent housing is sought. Since it's inception last spring, nearly $2000 in aid has been distributed to fire victims in Sunflower County.

Initially, firefighters have provided the delivery of Victim Impact Assistance efforts. Currently, civilian volunteers are being recruited by both the Fire Coordinator's Office and the Red Cross's West Delta Chapter for this program. These Victim Impact Counselors will receive Red Cross training, as well as critical incident stress management training so they may work with fire victims more effectively. Victim Impact Counselors - while they will never become directly involved in firefighting operations - will receive remedial fire safety training as well as an orientation into fire department operations so they may answer questions fire victims may have.

James A. Whitfield, Jr., MCEM
Sunflower County Fire Coordinator
Indianola, Missisippi
(662) 887-6253
Battalion 1 - The Pride of the South