South Georgia firefighters help set up Mississippi E.O.C. -, South Georgia News, Weather, Sports

South Georgia firefighters help set up Mississippi E.O.C.

September 28, 2005

Albany- An urgent request for help from the Georgia Emergency Management Agency sends ten south Georgia firefighters to the heart of the Gulf Coast clean up. The group, all with a rank of captain or higher, leaves tomorrow for Waveland, Mississippi. They'll be setting up an Emergency Operations Center to better organize the clean up effort.

Organizing the clean up and relief effort for the Katrina disaster is no easy task, but ten higher ranking fire fighters from south Georgia have volunteered to take on the challenge.

"I'm excited about going," said volunteer Cpt. Matthew Jefferson,Albany Fire Department. The team made up of Captain Matthew Jefferson and other fire fighters from Tifton and Valdosta will leave at noon, Thursday.

"We'll be managing an E.O.C. It's a ten man team. We'll be coordinating and organizing the agencies for a search and rescue operations," said Jefferson.

They'll be telling agencies like the American Red Cross, The Salvation Army, and others in the Waveland, MS area where help is needed most.

"I have had some experience being as I was here during the floods during '94 and I had the opportunity to work in the E.O.C. here," said Jefferson.

What this experience could teach Captain Jefferson could be invaluable if a storm like Katrina struck south Georgia.

"I hope to bring back some leadership capabilities to help us better deal with what we have to do here," said Jefferson.

"In '94 and '98 we had the floods, but this is bigger than anybody ever experienced before so the knowledge that Captain Jefferson will bring back is invaluable to the department and the city as a whole," said Interim Chief James Carswell, Albany Fire Department.

With so much to be done during their nine day trip, fire fighter expect the task to be difficult but well worth the effort.

"It's easy to sit back and say well, those guys are going through a lot out there, to actually volunteer and go out I feel a lot better," said Jefferson.

Two other Albany fire fighters are already in Louisiana, helping FEMA with the search and recovery effort.



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