Residents from the Brown, Comanche, Coleman Mills and San Saba Counties will have the unique opportunity to take part in the Training Institute offered by the American Red Cross from Sept. 28-29 in Brownwood.

“We have to utilize volunteers for our services,” said Janet Karcher, executive director of the West Central Texas branch of the American Red Cross. “This training is geared toward preparing our volunteers to work with our clients and provide them with food, shelter, clothing, compassion and care.”

According to Karcher, 35 of the 116 volunteers in the West Central Texas’s chapter of the American Red Cross are from the Brown, Comanche, Coleman Mills and San Saba Counties area.

“We have a two-hour window that we call on our volunteers when a disaster strikes,” Karcher said. “Having boots on the ground who’ve undergone training helps us better serve our clients.”

Both current and new volunteers can take part in the free training workshops offered during the American Red Cross’s Training Institute. Courses that will be offered during the Training Institute includes Disaster Instructor Specialty Training, Client Casework, Client Assistance Systems, Psychological First Aid, Financial and Statistical Information, Shelter Management and ERV: Ready, set, roll.

“This is the first time we’ve held training courses like this,” Karcher said. “These courses are offered at various times during the year. With the Training Institute, volunteers are given the opportunity to take more than one course through the course of one weekend.”

Disaster Instructor Specialty Training and Shelter Management are the only two courses the new volunteers will be unable to take since they are reserved for seasoned Red Cross volunteers, Karcher said.

Deadline for residents to register for the training is Sept. 20. Applications are available at American Red Cross office in Brownwood, which is located in the Family Services Center on 901 Ave. B. A small breakfast and lunch will be provided to those attending the training.

For more information about the training, contact Katie Barymer at (325) 658-4409.