CISM TEAM OF BUTLER COUNTY
CISM TEAM OF BUTLER COUNTY 

Our Team

Butler County CISM's employees are highly-trained, experienced and dedicated to the success of our business.

Tim Birge

 

Butler County CISM Team President

 

Has served on the CISM team for 5 years

 

Currently Works for the Beaver County Crisis Intervention Services

 

Has participated in several CISM debriefings and defusings as a member of both the Butler County and Beaver County CISM teams.

Currently has training in Advanced CISM, Psychological First Aid, Disaster Crisis Outreach, and Referral Team, Trauma Informed Care, Workplace Violence Prevention, BLS and First Aid Instructor, National Organization of Victims Assistance (NOVA) trauma support.

Works closely on daily basis with 1st responder personnel in various crisis situations, school officials, and individuals in crisis.    

 

I have witnessed first hand the impact trauma can have on individuals. As a member of two CISM teams, I have had the opportunity to help individuals who have been through the most difficult of times. I have seen first hand the impact that CISM can have in helping people get through these traumas and persevere. This is why I serve on the CISM team.  

John Pristas
 
 
 
Member of the Butler County CISM Team since 2015, Vice President since 2019
 
Has been a volunteer firefighter since 1981, EMT since 1987, and has participated in CISM debriefings for volunteer fire companies and a juvenile detention center.
  
I want to help people with the emotional reactions that often occur from critical incidents and to help them move forward in a new normal of functioning. I want to help other first responders to get through difficult situations.
 
 
 
 
Andy Shaffer
Has been a member of the Butler County CISM Team since 2010.
 
Is an ordained Presbyterian Minister, having served two congregations in Beaver County for 25 years. Is a firefighter and chaplain with Franklin Twp VFD (Beaver Co) for over 10 years. Has worked as a hospice chaplain. Currently works as a Staff Chaplain at UPMC Shadyside Hospital.
 
Training includes Pastoral Crisis Intervention; Individual Crisis Intervention and Peer Support; Group Crisis Intervention; Emotional and Spiritual Care in Disasters; Suicide Prevention, Intervention, and Postvention. Has completed two units of Clinical Pastoral Education (CPE) and is seeking to be a board-certified clinical chaplain with the College of Pastoral Supervision and Psychotherapy (CPSP).
 
Some events we experience are more intense than what we could ever imagine. These events overwhelm us because “we have never been there before”. I have journeyed with individuals, families and first responders through various traumatic crisis situations. I have witnessed the emotional and spiritual impact of sudden crisis incidents and the accumulation of stressful traumatic events within a person’s life. I believe CISM is valuable to help us realize that our reactions and responses to those events are natural and normal. CISM is a process that helps us regain our balance and be reassured that we can function and be greatly effective in our responsibilities and roles of daily life.
 
Lynne Bourchier
 
 
Mary Dee Skalski
 
 
Kevin Boozel
 
Has formerly Served as the Butler County CISM team president
Currently serves as a team member for deployments of various need. 
 
Kevin has been a member of the CISM team for 10+ years 
 
Kevin currently serves as a Butler County Commissioner.
 

Just prior to assuming his newly elected role as Butler County Commissioner, Kevin completed his Masters of Science degree at Geneva College for Organizational Leadership to compliment his graduate Community Counseling studies at Slippery Rock University and his undergraduate work at Indiana University for Elementary Education.    Kevin actively volunteers and serves as a board member in multiple organizations.    Some of the key organizations include Rotary, Harrisville Volunteer Fire Company as an active certified firefighter/EMT, Governor appointed Emergency Management Coordinator, Critical Incident Stress Management, Community Action, Butler County Children’s Center, Butler Emergency Relief Initiative, Masonic Lodge, Local/State Volunteer Organizations Active in Disaster, and the Local/State Homeless Initiatives.  

 
CISM is a critical part of emergency services. Far too long we have ignored the psychiatric effects of stress and extreme stressors on our First Responders. As a Firefighter, EMT and CISM Team member, I have served both sides and know the stressors are great. We must also commit to caring for CISM Team members. Even vicarious exposure to trauma can create similar psych stressors. I love helping others. I know I have the ability to do the work, process the information and help others do the same. I also know that I have a shelf life. I don’t know what that is as of yet but rely on self-assessment and that of my peers to ensure that I don’t over serve.  
Robin Renfrew
 
 
Mark Shoaf
 
 
Jackie Eppler 

Jackie Eppler is currently employed by Grace Community Church in Cranberry Township as part of the Care and Counseling Team and serves as the MH Coalition Coordinator for the Cranberry Area Diversity Network.

 

Though new to this team, years of experience in crisis intervention, leading groups, pastoral and one-on-one care, provide a background for coming alongside others during difficult situations.

 

Jackie has a Bachelor of Psychology and Sociology from Thiel College and a Master of Public Health from the University of Pittsburgh, Department of Health Services with a focus on mental health and child abuse and neglect. Before her master’s degree, she worked in specialized foster care, corrections, and community mental health, serving as MH delegate for Somerset County and county liaison to Somerset State Hospital. Postgraduate work included research in MH service delivery and consultant to Allegheny County MH Planning, Information, and Evaluation including evaluating closing of Woodville State Hospital.

Jackie is active on various boards and coalitions including the following: Butler County Mental Health/Early Intervention/Intellectual Disabilities Advisory Board, Butler County Commissioners’ Opioid Leadership Team, and Seneca Valley MH Roundtable; Co-Chair, Butler County Suicide Coalition; and Cranberry Area MH and Special Needs Coalitions. Special training includes individual and group crisis intervention, techniques for delivering bad news, interviewing individuals with disabilities, suicide prevention/risk assessment/risk formulation, suicide loss/survivor support, and one-on-one care.

 

A Somerset County native, who has lived in Minnesota and California, she has called Butler County home since 2000.

 

She believes that anyone can benefit from having someone to talk to during difficult times and that it’s important to work through hardships and trauma to lessen the impact and encourage healing and overall wellness

 
In Memoriam
Mike Ference 
Mike was a dedicated member of the CISM team of Butler County. He served as team Vice President and participated in several deployments to help others overcome trauma. He worked tirelessly to help ensure that the team had resources to continue to serve our mission to help serve those who serve us. Though he is missed his dedication and support to the team and our mission will never be forgotten and will always be appreciated. Thank you, Mike, rest well.  
  
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