Defense force forming in Thomasville - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

Defense force forming in Thomasville

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June 25, 2007

Thomasville--  With hurricane season upon us, and wildfires still burning in parts of the state, Georgian's know unexpected disasters are a fact of life.  

In times of emergency, there are many who would like to help, but don't know how they can. Lt. Colonel Dave Gowan says the Georgia defense force is a good place to start.  "We're all volunteers, we're unarmed and we work for the governor," says Gowan.

Many people think of organizations like the Red Cross first off when wanting to volunteer.  "It's hard to get into them, they're full, a lot of people volunteer for red cross," says Gowan. 

He hopes people in the Thomasville area will consider the new local battalion of the defense force as another option for giving their time.   Gowan says they're looking for "people who want to return some of their communities investment in them, back into their community." 

Under the department of defense, the organization gives support to the national guard, and to national guard families.  

But their biggest mission is to support local government agencies in emergency response during disasters.  "We hope to meet understandings with local governments in our batallion area to provide staff and train people to work, say in their emergency operation center or with their people in the field under the supervision of their staff," explains Gowan.

In times of emergency, a little extra help goes a long way.   Gowan explains, the group will "provide a few extra people who can take over some of the functions while some of the government people get some sleep and recuperation."

Two upcoming informational meetings at the Thomas county library this Saturday, and one on July 7th will answer questions for anyone interested.  The defense force is looking for people with military experience, but its not a requirement.

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