GREAT FALLS — First responders never know when their next call might come in. For the next several days, Cascade County Disaster & Emergency Services is hosting a plethora of local first responders to help them prepare for that next call.
DES is hosting an incident command system training with more than 60 participants from varying entities. The goal is to prepare first responders for bad days in any incident they can think of and to be able to work with other entities more effectively.
DES director of emergency management Brad Call says a big part of the training is getting people to speak the same language when it comes to terminology out on a call.
"If people aren't on the same page, they're literally speaking different languages and can't understand each other," Call said. "We've talked about a lot of the communication aspects that go into this and just really started setting the stage. We're going to go through some complex incidents here later. It's going to be a winter weather storm and then we're going to give some people some practical, real world experience."
Call added that this is the biggest training of this type they've put on and want to make it at least a yearly event to continue interdepartmental collaboration.
This training is designed to get everyone on the same page and to collaborate with a made up scenario to prepare them for real calls after the training is done.
"Every time I teach this class. I try to add that to the experience," Terry Bailey said, who is part of the Incident Management Team. "We want to correct some of the mistakes of the team each year, because it's very important we're on the same page. The Emergency Operation Plan is actually the first document during an emergency that some of these people use. Once we would write a rough draft, all parties had to agree to it. Imagine how hard that was when one jurisdiction liked something and another didn't. So it was actually a very challenging time to get to where we're at right now."
The training goes from November 29th to December 1st.
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