Victim Services

Mass Casualty Response


In 2015, the SFDA Victim Services Division set out to create a plan for deploying and utilizing the resources of our division in the event of a mass casualty, active shooter or terrorist event. In our role, we bring resources to victims, their loved ones, and witnesses of violent events.
The Victim Services division is comprised of trained and multilingual advocates who work collaboratively with the Department of Emergency Management, Department of Public Health, San Francisco International Airport, Department of Human Services, or Law Enforcement. The Unit works with other San Francisco Departments and Agencies to fill gaps in victim support following mass casualty incidents. The goal is to provide a unified response for victims of mass violence for both the immediate, short-term and long-term trauma they will face.
Multiple Bay Area counties renewed an expanded Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) that allows these counties to request shared resources and personnel in the event of a mass casualty.  The goals of the Bay Area Mass Crime Victim Casualty Planning Committee include:
  • Each county develop a department and county deployment plan
  • Develop a Bay Area response and mutual aid plan
  • Develop a memorandum of understanding between counties
  • Share trainings
 Our unit provides the following services in response to mass crime:
  • Assists with tracking of loved ones/missing persons
  • Assists with staffing Family Assistance Center
  • Provides immediate and short-term emotional support to victims, survivors, witnesses, and loved ones
  • Provides information about services and resources for victims
  • Connects those affected by the event to resources for immediate, short-term, and long-term recovery.
  • Provides criminal justice system support by assisting victims during trials, helping organize memorial events, providing updates on court proceedings, etc.
  • Assists with completing crime victim compensation applications

Common Trauma Reactions Following Mass Crime Events

  • Shock/disbelief
  • Hypervigilance
  • Intrusive thoughts
  • Loss of sense of safety
  • Feeling detached
  • Anger/ irritability
  • Loss of interest
  • Withdrawal from family and friends
  • Nightmares
  • Change in appetite
  • Unable to control emotions
  • Difficulty concentrating
  • Deep sadness or depression
  • Physical complaints (headaches, stomachache, muscle pain)

Help is Available

Call the Suicide Prevention Lifeline


National Alliance on Mental Illness

1-800-950-NAMI (6264)

Veterans Crisis Line


24-hour Crisis Text Line

Text 741741

Local Resources & Services

Dial 2-1-1