The Macon-Bibb county Emergency Management Authority (EMA) have spent the last week working on their mobile Command Vehicle (MCV) and communications skills during an annually held Georgia Emergency Management & Homeland Security (GEMA/HS) Mobile Command Vehicle (MCV) Exercise.

“This exercise truly connects communications vehicles from all over the state to test our communication skills and evaluate the functions of our Mobile Command Vehicles” states EMA Director Spencer Hawkins. “We can showcase our abilities as we learn from other units who have experienced different kinds of events.”

“The primary issue that all emergencies, disasters or other events face is communication,” says EMA Deputy Director Robert McCord. “With this training we have an entire week to concentrate on enhancing our abilities and learning new methods to deal with challenges, and learning how to collaborate with other agencies in the event that be in need of each other’s help at some point in the near future. There is no better education available in the state other than this one. .”>

The local team was participated in training and exercises with teams from state, local and federal agencies and was able to establish connections with them that can aid in the event of a disaster. The majority of the instruction included physical communication systems and how to utilize them during a multiagency emergency however, it also covered managing complicated radio and communication networks. Examples include ways to couple radios across different radio frequency bands that typically cannot communicate, preparing communications plans for multiple activities simultaneously, and also how to perform repairs and field programming for radio and network systems.

The EMA has been attending these events for more than 10 years. Participants this year from Macon-Bibb County will be Robert McCord (EMA), Casey Walker (EMA), Richard Wolverton (Code Enforcement), Christopher Land (IT), Tracey Tharpe (EMA Volunteer), Brad Boyst (EMA Volunteer), Charlie Coyner (EMA-ARES Volunteer) as well as Bill Lively (EMA-ARES Volunteer ). >