The Flathead County, Mont., Sheriff's Office recently said that it will join with volunteer fire departments to hold emergency response courses to prepare residents for man-made and natural disasters.
The Community Emergency Response Training will teach participants CPR, light search and rescue, triage and other basic skills needed to help their neighbors when emergency responders are not immediately available, according to KPAX.com.
"Pre-event planning, like having these classes, can reduce the loss of life, reduce the property damages, and things like that," Deputy Travis Bruyer said, KPAX.com reports. "We're asking citizens just to become more prepared."
The course will begin on April 1 and be held on Tuesdays at the Marion Fire Department. It is open to 25 participants and free of charge, according to KPAX.com.
Other fire departments in the area, including Creston and Badrock fire departments, have tentative plans to host CERT courses during the year.
Flathead County is located in the northern part of the state, and shares a border with Canada. The county covers 5,098 square miles, has approximately 91,000 residents, borders Glacial National Park and contains many national forest areas.