Worldwide emergency responders train at Guardian Centers

Guardian Centers in Perry, Ga., recently hosted first responders from around the globe for the largest training exercise on the East Coast.


The Office of U.S. Foreign Disaster Assistance responds to approximately 70 disasters in 56 countries every year and was part of the search and rescue training, according to WSB-TV.


Urban search and rescue teams had 72 hours to recover trapped victims from several scenarios.


"As we encounter a victim, I log each victim in the app that we created," Blake Payne, a technical information specialist with Virginia Task Force One, said, WSB-TV reports.


The training exercise required responders to crawl through and over cars, stabilize an SUV to remove a car containing a victim from underneath it and utilize canine specialists to search for victims in rubble.


"It's extremely beneficial because the more you can expose (the dogs to), the better they will be in a real-life situation," Heather Sloan, a canine specialist, said according to WSB-TV.


Payne said the quality of training provided by Guardian Centers is required for emergency responders to be ready and capable for the next large earthquake, bombing or terrorist attack.


"To be able to put that training in place versus a prop, it's invaluable," Payne said, WSB-TV reports.


Several Blackhawk helicopters were provided by the U.S. Army for a training exercise that hoisted injured victims out of a situation. In a different exercise, a field was flooded with 5.5 million gallons of water to simulate New Orleans' 9th Ward after Hurricane Katrina.


"We can get sleep later, but this training, who knows when we will be able to get it again, aside from an actual incident that could occur somewhere in the world," Payne said, according to WSB-TV.


The Guardian Centers is a private facility funded by investors that covers 830 acres. Emergency teams pay to use the facility, which can simulate almost any disaster on nearly any scale.