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DPHHS offers free disability awareness training for first responders


September 30, 2016

Contact:  Jon Ebelt, Public Information Officer, DPHHS, (406) 444-0936

               Chuck Council, Communications Specialist, DPHHS, (406) 444-4391


DPHHS offers free disability awareness training for first responders


The Department of Public Health and Human Services (DPHHS) is offering free Disability Awareness Train the Trainer training for firefighters / EMS personnel, 911 dispatchers, and law enforcement officials.

The training will take place in October with separate sessions for each type of first responder. All trainings will take place in Helena at the Days Inn located at 2001 Prospect Avenue.

The three separate training sessions are as follows:

·         Firefighter/EMS training; Sunday, October 16 from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Monday, October 17 from 8:30 a.m. to noon

·         911 dispatcher training; Monday, October 17, 1 p.m to 5 p.m. and Tuesday, October 18, 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.

·         Law enforcement training; Wednesday and Thursday, October 19-20, 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.

Online registration is now open and all attendees must register in advance at:


DPHHS is partnering with Niagara University’s First Responder Disability Awareness Training program.

According to DPHHS officials, the training is aimed to help Montana’s first responders improve their skills when working with individuals with disabilities. “This training will help educate emergency responders on how to effectively identify, address and respond to various situations involving people with disabilities that they may encounter in the line of duty,” said Kelly McNurlin of the DPHHS Developmental Disabilities Program.

This ‘train the trainer’ opportunity is developed strictly for firefighters/EMS, dispatchers and law enforcement with the intent for them to train other first responders in their communities. This is not a training session for those who do not intend to train their peers, McNurlin said.

DPHHS hopes that local training coordinators will take advantage of this opportunity to ensure appropriate response techniques are used, and to help support some of our most vulnerable people so they can live and work in all communities. 

For more information call McNurlin at 444-4215 or email at KMcNurlin2@mt.gov.