Walker County Fire Rescue Cave & Cliff Team Heads Back to Republic of Georgia

Four firefighters prepare to load into a van to head to the airport

Four members of Walker County Fire Rescue’s Cave & Cliff Rescue Team are heading back overseas to the Republic of Georgia. Assistant Chief James Yearout said, “I guess we did a good enough job last year that they were ok with us coming back and doing some more.”

Yearout, along with Assistant Chief Eric Asburn, Assistant Chief Benny Plott and Rescue Specialist Robert Anderson taught a nine-day course in technical rescue to their Georgian counterparts last summer and will be repeating that again this year. “We do have two of the guys from last year coming over and they are going to start interning and being instructors along with us, so hopefully in about four years we’ll pass the program on to them to teach to their own people,” said Yearout.

Technical rescue involves rope work and rescuing patients in tough, rocky terrain. Given the topography of Walker County and expertise of our team, the Georgia Army National Guard selected Walker County to be part of their overseas training coalition. Yearout said, “These are firefighters like us, but they have the specialty training in technical rescue. They know the rope stuff, they’re doing swift water, just all of the aspects of technical rescue. They got to put some of their swift water training to use just in the last month. They had a major mudslide over there and they worked it for about a month digging and searching.”

Yearout believes the program will run smoother this year, because his team now knows the area they will be working in, as well as how to handle the language barrier. He’s excited the interpreter from last year, who learned the program, will be returning too.

The Georgia – Georgia National Guard Partnership is one of nearly 100 National Guard partnerships worldwide designed to increase regional security and advance U.S. interests in emerging countries.

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