GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOOD) — Grand Rapids is looking for volunteers to train and serve on the city’s first Community Emergency Response Team.

Level 1 classes start next week in each of the city’s wards, with courses scheduled for 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. on Aug. 22 and Aug. 24. Each class can typically hold 30 people as these individuals are taught basic personal preparedness skills, fire safety and disaster-based first aid response.

Allison Farole, the Grand Rapids emergency management administrator, says the training aims to develop a group of knowledgeable and skilled community members who can assist first responders during a disaster and the recovery process.

“One of the big things that we see after a major disaster, I think Maui is facing this right now after the big fires over there, people want to help. When it comes to managing the response and recovery of a disaster, it really becomes a whole second disaster when we have what’s known as unaffiliated volunteers showing up just to help. This is hopefully going to help us develop that cadre that’s trained, we know who they are and we can deploy them where necessary,” said Farole.

Those who are interested in attending Level 1 can register online.

The program is part of the Federal Emergency Management Agency’s educational outreach.