Emergency Response Team Holds Conference to Get More Volunteers

by Diane Tuazon
NewsWest 9

MIDLAND - Learning how to save lives during a disaster was the focus on Saturday as residents gathered to learn all they could.

"In time where there's a disaster, or even home flooding to fires. You need to have a disaster plan and we're here to help the community. It's a way to show people what they're doing," Midland Constable Choc Harris, said.

It was all part of the Community Emergency Response Team conference, where law enforcement and emergency crews from 17 counties throughout West Texas took part 
demonstrating what they do should a disaster hit the area.

"In a real emergency, you're going to need all the help you can get, and responders are going to be overwhelmed and the more the community is aware, the better off they'll be," Harris said.
Local officials say the conference is a good way to educate the public on how they respond to disasters, and to hopefully get more volunteers to join the emergency response team.

"If we have a big disaster it helps coordinate resources and bring them together. I think it's critical that you know who your responders are ahead of time and you know what needs to happen before they get there," Jim Collett with Region 18, said.

"If you have a disaster tomorrow how are you going to communicate? That's what community response teams do; they help everyone work together," Harris said.

Whether it's learning to assist in first aid or understanding the concept of a bomb robot, officials say there's something for everyone to learn.