Training will occur in up to 13 communities and Stingley hopes to have classes completed by early August. During the weekend training in the 13 communities, each participant will receive over 24 hours of instruction in three disaster courses, plus Red Cross CPR and first aid. All training for the participants is free, but participants must sign up in advance. Participants must be at least 18 years of age and be able to pass a criminal background check.
When training begins in a community, all 24 hours of instruction will occur that weekend starting on a Friday night and concluding Sunday afternoon. Stingley said the fast-track training was initiated by the Sioux Empire Red Cross as large numbers of volunteers were trained and deployed during the 2005 hurricanes.
The training program is open to residents of Clay, Lincoln, McCook, Minnehaha (excluding Sioux Falls), Moody, Turner, Bon Homme, Charles Mix, Gregory and Yankton counties. Interested individuals need to send their name, home address, home and work telephone numbers and e-mail address to the Sioux Empire American Red Cross by April 24. Contact the Red Cross office by calling 336-2448 or e-mail justingley@siouxempirered cross.org.
The tentative community locations of the training include Vermillion, Tea, Canton, Salem, Hartford, Brandon, Parker, Tyndall, Wagner, and Yankton.