Billy Graham Rapid Response Team Deploys to Northern Illinois University
Deployment Following Last Week’s Tornadoes is Ongoing
In response to the shooting on the campus of Northern Illinois University yesterday, the Billy Graham Rapid Response Team has deployed their crisis-trained chaplains to the school today. The chaplains will be available to talk and pray with grieving students, family, faculty and first responders. “Chaplains will arrive today and immediately begin working with those who need emotional and spiritual help,” said Jack Munday, director of the Rapid Response Team. “We’ll simply be there to talk and pray with anyone who would like to, and be available to support campus ministries and churches in the area.” As the chaplains arrive on-site, they will also begin a preliminary assessment of the needs on the campus, and will begin to formulate the size and scope of the deployment. The Billy Graham Rapid Response Team has deployed to several shooting tragedies in the past, including three last year: Virginia Tech in April which left 33 dead; Crandon, Wis. in October with seven casualties; and the December shooting at Youth with a Mission (YWAM) in Colorado Springs. This deployment is beginning while another deployment in Arkansas and Tennessee is ongoing following last week’s deadly tornadoes. The Billy Graham Rapid Response Team chaplains arrived in Tennessee last Wednesday, Feb. 6. They have had as many as 10 chaplains at a time working across the devastated areas in the Southeast, including Union University in Jackson, Tenn. The Billy Graham Rapid Response Team was developed following the attacks of September 11, 2001. It has since grown into a nationwide database of more than 2,500 chaplains and ministry volunteers who are specifically trained to deal with crisis situations. Dating back to its inception, the Rapid Response Team has deployed 21 times, with 11 of those deployments taking place in 2007. Most notably, the Rapid Response Team’s deployments in 2007 included Blacksburg, Va. following the shooting on the campus of Virginia Tech, Minneapolis following the collapse of the I-35 bridge, and San Diego following the wildfires in October and November. For more information on the Rapid Response Team, visit www.billygraham.org/rapidresponse.