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Welcome to MCRA


The Michigan Crisis Response Association (MCRA) is a cooperative effort of crisis response teams throughout the State of Michigan.  There are approximately 56 registered teams in Michigan whose membership is comprised of individuals from law enforcement, fire and emergency medical services, hospital staff, clergy, educators, and mental health professionals.  MCRA and the annual conference provide training for individuals and team members, further development of new teams, and provide support for established teams.  MCRA is a private nonprofit 501(c)(3) organization.

Last Updated on Wednesday, 06 April 2011 18:50
Monday, 04 April 2016 11:15

The First Responder Privileged Communication Bill (SB 444) was passed unanimously on February 9, 2016 and was signed into law by Governor Snyder on Tuesday, March 22, 2016!

cism bill

This legislation legally protects the confidentiality of first responders receiving CISM services from CISM teams.  It also protects the CISM peers/team members that are assisting first responders.  Click here to download/view Senate Bill 444.

cism bill-2
Last Updated on Monday, 04 April 2016 12:55
2016 Responder of the Year PDF Print E-mail
About MCRA
Friday, 13 January 2017 09:19

mike On September 19, 2017, MCRA President, Susan Elben, awarded Mike Norris, Portage Fire Fighter and CISM Coordination of the Gryphon Place/5th District CISM Team, with the 2016 MCRA Responder of the Year Award during the 28th Annual Michigan Crisis Response Association training conference that was held at the Michigan 4-H Foundation Kettunen Center in Tustin, Michigan.

Mike was nominated by two individuals for his outstanding service as an active CISM member.  Roxanne Affholter wrote “Mike oversaw major crisis interventions for the west side of Michigan.  The Kalamazoo shooting/murder rampage, the cyclist tragedy, and the bailiff murders in Berrien County.  There is no doubt that his facilitation of these interventions impacted the lives of many in ways that will never be realized by Mike, and those who responded with him.

I don't know a lot of the details, only what was reported during our MCRA board meetings through Mike.  The most impressive thing about hearing Mike speak was his humble approach to a very significant thing that he did. Mike's gentle unassuming way of briefing the group on the CISM responses to these various traumatic events almost felt as though he didn't play a big role in these responses, when we all know he did.”

Deb Schauer also nominated Mike for this award.  Deb shared some of Mike's outstanding service beginning with the Kalamazoo Uber shootings in February 2016 to the summer multiple fatality bicycle accident also in Kalamazoo County.

"Mike arranged for, participated in, and lead a CMB, Defusing, Debriefings and one on ones for First Responders involved with the Uber Driver Shootings across Kalamazoo County.  Bangor Fire Department had a gunshot wound to the head and face by young 23 year old man whose father is a Sherriff in a small rural area where many of the first responders knew and grew up with making it that much more traumatic.  Bangor Fire also had a double fatal from a head on collision on M-43 highway that Mike coordinated, lead, and participated in the debriefing.  Mike coordinated, lead, and participated in two debriefings with the Colon Fire Department for a rollover fatality and a suicide by gunshot wound to the face; again in a small community where “everyone knows everyone”.  Mike coordinated, lead, and participated in debriefings related to the death of the 11 year old son of a Supervisor at Life EMS that has been with that company for many years.  Mike debriefed two paramedics from Pride Care ambulance who knew that they were struggling to do their jobs and requested assistance following the drowning fatality of a 6 year old that was on the shirt tails of a number of other hard calls over the fourth of July weekend.  

While doing a debriefing for the Kalamazoo County Dive team in regards to a fatal drowning on Gull Lake, we were advised of the multiple fatality bicycle accident on the other side of Kalamazoo.  We were advised that the initial call was 30 bicyclists, mainly children, were struck down outside of Markin Glen Park.  After our debriefing with the Dive Team Mike said “let’s head out there and see how we can help”.  Once arriving at the Eastwood Fire Station we saw one of the Debriefers from the Kalamazoo County Sheriff’s Department Team that Mike had been working to break down barriers between our team and theirs.  Mike’s diligent work surrounding the Uber shootings and offering his experience and expertise to that team whenever able made it easier for us to couple together on this large scale incident effecting numerous agencies.  Mike has continued to have regular meetings with the coordinators and team members of the Kalamazoo County Sheriff’s Department team trying to continue to build that bridge with that team to help make the District 5 Team through Gryphon Place even stronger for our First Responders in our community.

There were also a number of interventions that were outside of Kalamazoo County including being requested to go out to the Berrien County Court house following the court house shooting in which two deputies were shot and killed while doing their job protecting people in the court house.  Mike went out there on two consecutive days in which he took time off from his job as a Fire Fighter but feeling strongly that his skills were required and they were.  On the second day at the Court House in Berrien County there were more than 100 people who needed CISM responses in a number of formats over the entire day.

Mike set up a meeting with the new administration at the Gryphon Place Helpline which is the agency that has provided support to the District 5 area CISM Team for First Responders.  We talked about the change in leadership there as well as the need for added support to keep this team active and well trained.  Mike came with an agenda and talking points of things that are needed and ways in which the agency can help not only the First Responder CISM team but also their community and school teams to be more effective and well trained to be able to remain active longer and in a healthy way.  

Mike has also been looking at ways to help to have the community and himself be healthier as well.  He has been meeting regularly with local area Chaplains to educate them on what people who may be struggling could benefit from when they are working with people who work in the First Responder roles; as well as community persons at large.  Mike also assisted with coordinating and disseminating information about the Two the Rescue program doing a two day training for Portage and Kalamazoo area Police and Fire.  Mike has also presented a program called “Self-care for the First Responder” for St Joseph County CIT program for the past two years.  Mike assisted with a GRIN training in the fall of 2015 at Borgess Medical Center training community and first responders.  Mike also serves on the MCRA board as well as the Tustin committee."

Last Updated on Friday, 13 January 2017 11:17
2015 Responder of the Year PDF Print E-mail


On September 21, 2015, MCRA President, Susan Elben, awarded Deputy Chief Gregg Ginebaugh with the 2015 MCRA Responder of the Year Award during the 27th Annual Michigan Crisis Response Association training conference that was held at the Michigan 4-H Foundation Kettunen Center in Tustin, Michigan.

Dorothy Flaska nominated Deputy Chief Ginebaugh for the following reasons:

“A firefighter for the last 29 years, this person is one of the most well respected crisis responders in the State of Michigan.  While he was instrumental in the creation of the most active crisis response team in western Michigan over 15 years ago, he is also one of its most active members, while additionally volunteering on the CMH CISM team also, and additionally, serving on the MCRA Board of Directors for the last 15 years; in 2001 as Board Chairman.  And, though he is not currently holding an office on our team as he has during multiple years in the past, it is both the leadership skills he displays, as well as the expertise he is so willing to share, that results in him being consulted whenever any difficult situation comes up.  A perfect example of his leadership skills occurred in late spring when he was chosen for the role of Incident Commander during a Federal simulated disaster in Kent County, complete with Black Hawk helicopters.

From this, it isn't hard to deduce that this man also has the respect of his colleagues within Fire Departments across the region.  However, though he assumed the incredibly complex role of IC with his usual sense of confidence and strong organizational skills, the important thing for our purpose here is that he didn't for a minute forget his commitment to crisis response work.  He ensured there was a CISM team present during that day, recognizing that even during a mock disaster, volunteers could potentially be traumatized, being exposed to role players who had been injured or killed.  But also, by involving MWM CISM team members at the simulated disaster and requiring beforehand that as many of those members as possible earn the required credentials to respond to a Federal emergency, it showed his total commitment to meeting the needs of his community, should a real disaster occur.

As many people who have served as Coordinators of CISM teams know, they are often the primary point person in receiving requests for CISM services.  But, in our case, especially this year, our team received almost as many requests thru this firefighter as we did directly from other first responder agencies, including from agencies outside of our 'catchment' area.  This is because of his excellent reputation and his demonstrated commitment to providing Mutual Aid, which we did on at least 4 occasions this year.  There is no doubt that this is not just the result of his commitment to ensuring that CISM services are provided wherever they might be needed, but also because of the trust level he has established within the First Responder world.  It is known that on at least two occasions, this firefighter went to the scene of a critical incident as soon as he was notified of it.  Without even being asked, he provided a much needed defusing on one occasion and 1 to 1's for first responders still on the scene, then coordinated the more formal response when he determined that follow up was needed.  (And, while I recognize that I am about to mention an incident that is technically outside the time parameters as it is happening right now, it is Gregg Ginebaugh who received a direct request by the Lansing Fire Department to assist them in dealing with the very traumatic death of their fellow firefighter on 9/9/2015.)

While this last issue I will mention might not seem as important as his leadership skills, excellent response coordination, and/or his follow up to ensure that everyone's needs have been met, it does show his other organizational strengths.  Almost singlehandedly, this very busy firefighter updated and rewrote the By Laws for our First Responder team and has currently done a great deal of research so that MCRA's By Laws could be updated and clarified.  He is a 'techie extraordinaire', being the 'go to guy' on everything from updating our phone system to creating a website for storing all of our documents, as well as providing access to a secure avenue for internal communication.  One quote received about him may sum things up...'he never stops thinking of ways to make things better for people and there is no challenge too big or too small for him to take on.'

Last, while all of the above certainly seems like more than enough to be considered an exemplary Crisis Responder, it really isn't complete without mentioning the personal characteristics of Gregg Ginebaugh, the Deputy Chief of the Kentwood Fire Department....he is a reserved but forthright man, strong in his principles, He demonstrates passion and dedication to providing quality CISM services while always also educating people about its importance.  While he often displays a great sense of humor, he never does so at anyone's expense and he exhibits absolutely no sense of his own self-importance.  I would venture to guess that even being recommended for this award would come as a great surprise to him.  It's quite likely that he doesn't even know how well thought of he is by his CISM team members, his colleagues or the multiple communities he has provided crisis response services to.  That truly does make him a person worthy of this award.”

Last Updated on Friday, 13 January 2017 09:23
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