GARDEN CITY, Ga (WSAV) – A state defense force completed annual training this weekend readying a battalion of volunteers for when Georgia is hit by a major storm event.
The Georgia State Defense Force is a medical support unit a part of the state National Guard. They trained over the weekend simulating a mass casualty event where upwards to fifty people were injured in during a major storm.
“By the time we come around really snow storms and tornadoes next spring and into hurricanes season we’ll be better than we were last year,” says the force’s commander Brig. Gen. Tom Danielson.
The training happens one weekend a year, but year round the defense force is ready to deploy anywhere in the state.
“We have medics we have physicians we have nurses, we have EMTs which is what they do in their real life and they volunteer their time to support the people of Georgia,” the commander adds.
Doctors like Dan Deloach from Savannah. He’s a local but the force brings in volunteers from every corner of the state for this exercise.
“Coastal Georgia is amenable to having hurricanes at any time, I think we’ve been fortunate the last one we had was ’79, but we could get hit by one any day,” says Dr. Deloach
The force is comprised of volunteers from doctors, nurses, librarians, theme park operators, and even state legislators. The force was deployed in 2014 to aid in the winter storms around Atlanta. This year alone they have aided several search and rescues.
“This is not a game, we’re not out here playing this is very serious, this is practice for real life situations, this is literally life and death in the balance here that we’re working with,” Deloach adds.