September 28, 2021
CONTACT: Lindsey Wiles
MARIETTA – On Monday, September 27, 2021, members of the Marietta Fire Department were recognized by Maj. Gen. Tom Carden, The Adjutant General of the Georgia National Guard, and the Georgia National Guard for conducting international swift water rescue training in the Country of Georgia.
The Marietta Fire Department traveled to the country of Georgia, located in the Black Sea Region, to partner and train Georgian Emergency Management Services in Swift-Water Rescue techniques at Borjomi, Georgia, from July 26 to August 6, 2021. The course trains students in lifesaving methods in a flood or swift waters caused by heavy rains, hurricanes, or other natural disasters.
The Marietta Fire Department designed the course in 2009 to train firefighters in their department to complete dangerous water rescues. Over the years, the MFD continued to refine the class and opened the course to other local and state agencies, fire departments, and the military. This specific course trains students in lifesaving methods in a flood or swift waters caused by heavy rains, hurricanes, or other natural disasters.
Marietta Firefighters Ron Presley, Blaine Whealy, Kyle Weber and Assistant Chief George McKeehan traveled to Borjomi, Georgia on their personal vacation time to conduct the training which was funded by the DoD Overseas Humanitarian, Disaster and Civic Aid fund, coordinated through the Georgia National Guard State Partnership Program Bilateral Affairs Officer MAJ Dan Sekula, a member of the US European Command’s Office of Defense Cooperation in Tbilisi, Country of Georgia. The State Partnership Program was established in 1993 to partner US states with former Soviet republics to help those new countries establish their own military organizations. The partnership between the two Georgias was established the following year, 1994, and continues to grow with government professional and personal relationships to this day.
“We are honored to be able to be in the position where our department can provide much needed training to other agencies,” said Marietta Fire Chief Tim Milligan. “I am very proud of our firefighters for their willingness and eagerness to continue to stay dedicated to being well versed on the most effective methods of rescue training. The fact that members of our department would take vacation time to travel to the country of Georgia speaks volumes to the type of people they are, and the caliber of firefighters employed by our great city.”