The Georgia Search and Rescue (GSAR) Task Force 2 team, managed by the Valdosta Fire Department, received orders on October 11 at approximately 8 a.m., to deploy to Miller County to provide support.
A team of 19 GSAR members deployed at 9:30 a.m. from the Valdosta Fire Station #1. Ten members are from the Valdosta Fire Department, and the rest of the members are from department personnel in.
“I am proud of the Valdosta Fire Department and of the GSAR team,” said Valdosta Fire Chief Freddie Broome. “We have an extremely skilled GSAR team, of which most have just spent the last few days responding to their own community’s storm needs. Locally, our department responded to over 50 emergency calls related to the storm, yet they are ready to deploy for the needs of others. It is a privilege now to use our combined resources to limit the loss of life and property for our neighbors in Miller County.”
The GSAR team is made up of fire department personnel from across the Southwest region. It is one of only eight Search and Rescue teams in the state of Georgia. The GSAR vehicle and the urban search and rescue equipment within it are valued at over $1 million, wholly funded by a GEMA grant awarded to the VFD in 2008. The vehicle and required training for GSAR members are managed by the Valdosta Fire Department and funded by GEMA.
“Housing the GSAR Team 2 comes with a huge responsibility, and an even greater privilege, of providing emergency assistance at a moment’s notice to our county, region, state and nation,” said Mayor John Gayle. “We appreciate the hard work and dedication of this team. God speed to them as they assist our neighbors in Southwest Georgia.”
For more information, contact Valdosta Fire Chief Broome at 229-333-1835.