Forsyth – On 30 September 2014 when I visited High Falls State Park in Jackson, GA (just north of Forsyth off of I-75), the GSAR Central Task Force happened to be doing some rescue training at the park over the falls. GSAR stands for Georgia Search and Rescue and there are multiple teams throughout the state. Each team is trained in Hazardous Materials response, High Angle Rescue, Confined Space Rescue, Trench Collapse Rescue, and Collapsed building rescue. Some are also trained in Wilderness Search and Rescue and Water Rescue. These teams are composed of members from multiple fire departments and agencies throughout their coverage areas; Central Task Force is composed of members from agencies, counties, and municipalities such as Macon-Bibb County FD, Houston County FD, Peach County FD, Warner Robins FD, Perry FD, Medical Center of Coastal Georgia, Houston Health Care, Monroe County, City of Forsyth, City of Griffin, and Spalding County. The Response truck for GSAR Central Task Force is located with the Macon-Bibb County FD.
The training they were doing consisted of using a rope system to move firefighters over the river from one side of the falls to the other and lowering them down to the rocks in river and back up. While taking pictures of the falls, I was able to take some photos of the training and with the BCD436HP scanner I had with me, I was also able to tune in to the frequency they were operating on and listen to what they were doing. I initially checked 154.280, the Fire mutual aid frequency thinking it would likely be what they were using but it wasn’t. I put the scanner into search mode and in no time found them using an interesting frequency: 154.570, a MURS frequency. If you look closely in some of the photos below, you can see the small MURS radios attached to the firefighter’s gear (I didn’t get close enough to notice them until after I had found the frequency). It was an educational experience to say the least, and for someone who lives on the coast, it was a rare opportunity to see this kind of rescue work in action.