Cascade County and Great Falls make formal agreement to deal with planned and emergency events

Posted at 2:41 PM, Nov 12, 2018
and last updated 2018-11-12 18:48:49-05

GREAT FALLS – The Cascade City-County Health Department (CCHD) and the city of Great Falls have entered a formal agreement.

This agreement will allow mutual aid between the two government agencies for handling disaster response as well as planned events.

The CCHD and the Great Falls Fire Rescue are the two agencies who worked together to get this agreement in writing. Although they work together often, it was important to both parties to get a formal agreement in writing so they can streamline their response efforts.

Tanya Houston, who is Health Officer at the CCHD said, “A collaboration of this nature and getting these agreements in writing is always a good idea and a positive thing for the community.”

There was a realization for the need of a formal agreement after President Trump’s visit took place in July.

During this visit, city resources such as the Great Falls Fire Rescue were overwhelmed.

Spectators spent hours in the heat standing in line, but most of those people who needed assistance did not have serious medical conditions where transportation was needed. Rather, most of these people just needed medical monitoring.

An example of where this agreement would be helpful between the two agencies would be a planned event such as the recent fire station flu shot clinic Fridays. CCHD partnered with the Great Falls Fire Rescue to provide immunizations this past October. This year was a pilot program, but CCHD was pleased with the program.

Another example would be an emergency event such as response to the flooding that impacted Cascade County this past spring.

Although CCHD said they would always respond collaboratively to an event impacting the residents, they just wanted to make sure what one another can bring to the table before an actual event occurs.

Houston added, “Agreements of this nature really just streamline our ability as partners to respond to both planned events and emergency events. So, we feel like this is just a strength for our community.”

Houston said this is the first agreement of this nature made between the CCHD and the city of Great Falls.

Reporting by Kasey Herman for MTN News