Georgia Search and Rescue
To become a member of Georgia Search and Rescue, a handful of Marietta firefighters attended a four to five week technical rescue program. This program consists of a group of courses that include rope rescue, confined space training, trench rescue and building collapse/shoring. Once a firefighter completes this training he or she is a technician-level member of the GSAR team. GMAG/FEMA calls for the activation and the Marietta Fire Department has to agree to release personnel for activation.
The Marietta Fire Department expresses its deepest appreciation for the men and women of Metro GSAR. Several MFD personnel volunteered to travel to Louisiana and assist with recovery efforts after Katrina hit.
During the weeklong deployment, FFE Vickers, FFE Pacheco, S/C McDonald and FF Whealy worked side by side with National Guard members, trudging through contaminated waters to enter structures in the recovery effort. The workers slept outside and were forced to choose between getting eaten alive by large swarming insects and becoming sickened by potent insect repellents.
FFE Vickers awaits help from other Katrina volunteers rinsing down his sludge soaked boots and pants.
The smell and heat during Katrina recovery efforts only aggravated the levels of exhaustion experienced by GSAR volunteers, S/C McDonald and FFE Vickers.
S/C McDonald takes a moment to reflect during his work in the Katrina aftermath.
GSAR member FF Whealy mans the air supply line during confined space training.
GSAR member FFE Pacheco practices rope rescue techniques.