Intense training exercises in Macon help the Georgia State Defense Force

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MACON, Georgia (41NBC/WMGT) – The Georgia State Defense Force teamed up with local police, Macon-Bibb EMA, and the fire department to make sure their staff are prepared for any type of disaster.

Specialist Kerry Hatcher volunteers for the Georgia State Defense Force. He said team work is the goal.

“We’re here to solidify our cooperation between local and state agencies to better prepare for a disaster, such as what happened in Irma,” Hatcher said.

The Georgia State Defense Force puts together training exercises annually, but this is the first year they are working with local agencies.

The exercises include search and rescue operations, security checkpoints, and simulated evacuations for their volunteers.

Hatcher said training exercises that involve state and local agencies working together, helps the community.

“This allows us to learn each other’s way of handling things without learning that during the disaster,” he said.

Hatcher’s father Richard, volunteered to role play for one of the exercises. Richard said he volunteered because these exercises are important for the Defense Force.

“It’s gonna give them some idea on how to react with people, how to talk to people, and get people to cooperate without being forceful or wanting to be too harsh,” Richard said.

Hatcher said the team work between the Georgia State Defense Force and Macon-Bibb has grown in the past few years.

“They were wonderful partners in Matthew, they’ve been wonderful partners in other events, and we’ve built a close relationships with Macon-Bibb,” he said.

And team work makes the dream work.