Neighborhood NewsGreat Falls - Cascade County


Cascade County DES will host Volunteer EMT Basic Training course

Posted at 4:46 PM, Jun 26, 2024

Cascade County Disaster and Emergency Services (DES) is hosting an EMT Basic Training course in Great Falls, beginning in the fall.

There will be qualified instructors to adequately prepare the students to go into a career involving emergency services.

“We can really have [the instructors] set the foundation for those EMTs because when they learn, they know what the bigger picture is, so having those higher level of care instructors there is really assisting; It really benefits the students because they're going to see the full circle,” explained Joey Zahara, director for Cascade County DES.

With much of Montana being rural, DES believes there are always more volunteers needed. Their goal for this course is to get more people interested, trained, and out in the community to help with emergency services and grow the Quick Response Unit (QRU).

“We wanted to build a more robust team, bigger QRU, so that we have more people out there helping the community and more quality EMTs,” said Dillon Belz, EMS duty officer for Cascade County.

Students will receive the training and skills needed to perform adequate life support and emergency medical care. By the end of the course, students will be prepared to take the national certification exam and be fully ready to join the QRU.

“Volunteers are literally the backbone of a lot of emergency services in the state. To have this component and building on to it and to build a more robust unit and team for the Quick Response Unit within Cascade County, is only going to better serve the citizens so that when they're having their bad day, when they make that phone call, they're going to have somebody that shows up to help them,” said Zahara.

The course will consist of 150 hours of hands-on learning, and it will begin August 1st and go until October 31st. There are a limited number of spots available in order to adequately train each student taking the course.

“It will be two days a week on week, nights, and then we'll do a full day Saturday where we do a lot of hands-on work. A lot of it will be hands-on based. There will be classroom work and test work and book work, of course, but a lot of it's going to be hands-on, because I feel a lot of the people that come in and take these classes and want to be EMTs are all hands-on learners,” said Belz.

The course is free to those who register to be a QRU with a two-year commitment. Otherwise, the course costs $1,250.

Deadline to enroll is July 15, 2024. For those interested in enrolling in the Volunteer EMT Training course, contact Cascade County DES by email at