VFD trains for GSAR missions

VALDOSTA, GA (WALB) - With the peak of hurricane season approaching in early September, firefighters from across Southwest Georgia are working hard to make sure they are prepared for any natural disaster.

Captain Matthew Davis, with the Valdosta Fire Department, said there's a lot that goes into building up a team.

"It takes so many people," Davis said. "Right now, we have roughly 75 people that are members of our GSAR team."

If and when a natural disaster hits, the Georgia Search and Rescue Task Force Team II is heavily relied on to provide relief to victims.

A full staff is needed to rotate positions so members are not overworked.

"Rope training, trench training, collapse training, and hazmat training are the disciplines that you basically have to have to be a member," said Davis.

Trainees of the GSAR program must have basic rope knowledge before learning how to handle confined spaces.

Collapse training is the final step and it is a combination of all the other disciplines.

"With collapse rescue, all those things come into play because with a collapsed building we're not real sure what we're going to be going up against," explained Davis.