On October 26, 3 Orange County Sheriff's Department deputies were honored by Trauma Intervention Program (TIP) volunteers for their kindness and compassion at the scene of a crime.
The OCSD deputies are Marc Hale, AJ Patella and Wayne Dixon. They and 14 other honorees were chosen from over 200 nominations submitted by TIP Volunteers. TIP Volunteers work side by side on scenes with deputies and often witness a deputy being particularly compassionate or kind with someone in crisis. When this happens the volunteer submits a nomination.
"We are not honoring emergency responders who do 'big' heroic lifesaving things, but rather responders who do the little "acts of kindness" which are huge for victims of crime and tragedy, " said Wayne Fortin, TIP Founder.
The TIP program is a valuable asset for deputies responding to traumatic incidents. Deputies are able to call TIP and have a citizen volunteer respond to support those who are emotionally traumatized. The Orange County TIP affiliate was founded in 1995 and there are currently 99 volunteers serving 20 jurisdictions, 10 hospitals and 10 public safety agencies.
Below are the nominations submitted by TIP volunteers about Deputies Hale, Patella and Dixon.
"On November 24, 2011, I encountered Deputies Marc Hale and A.J. Patella at a house fire. The house was completely destroyed. Throughout the next few hours, I witnessed both deputies being very comforting with the distraught family members. Both Deputies Hale and Patella kept checking in with family members to make sure they had everything they needed. We are very fortunate to have these two deputies in Orange County. If something bad happened to me in my life, I would want them with me."
"On October 23, 2011, I observed how kind Deputy Wayne Dixon was with the wife of a man who died in Mission Viejo. He was professional, compassionate and caring. I remember thinking...I swear this deputy is over nine feet tall, but he is the kindest and most gentle person. I have been on few calls with Deputy Dixon. He always warmly welcomes TIP Volunteers to his scenes, and he is always extraordinarily caring with survivors of tragedy."