North Texans learn how to respond to emergency situation during 'disaster simulation exercise' held in Dallas

Dallas County Emergency Management is teaching community members how to respond during emergency situations through a special training course.

Saturday morning, the group focused on active shooter situations and weather disasters.

Participants also learned search and rescue techniques, first aid, fire safety, and how to organize response teams.

The class is part of a 20-hour training program facilitated through FEMA.

Trainers say citizens and community members are the first defense and can help those around them as they wait for first responders to arrive on the scene.

"These things happen every day and you never know how close it will be. We had incidents in Downtown Dallas, so I just want to be prepared for myself and my residents,” said Tina Young. “It is really important, even if you're not around other people. You have to know how to save yourself, then when you’re with your family, know how to save your family. It's important so you can survive."

The participants will receive special emergency response certifications after the class wraps up, which can be used to volunteer with local response teams.