Georgia Southbears Comm Unit 14C
Chattahoochee Baptist Association Relief Communication Unit 14C

"The Peach State"

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Comm Unit 14C Leader
Horace Maddox, AE4VY

This unit began as a vision in January, 1996, when it was determined that there was a need for first responder communications unit for the northern part of the state. At the time only two people in the Association had GBC Phase 1 training in communications. Contacts were made with several Christian individuals about this opportunity.

In February, seven people took Phase I Communications training at the Georgia Baptist Assembly in Toccoa. In March, four individuals participated in Unit Director training at Camp Kaleo. In May, three more volunteers took Phase I training at the Georgia Baptist Assembly at Norman Park, giving a total of 12 certified communicators in the Gainesville area.

All trained volunteers are Amateur Radio Operators (Hams) and are familiar with various forms and modes of communications.

Outside today's Unit 14C Trailer

We had been searching for a trailer to outfit for Communications since late Spring, 1996 but had not been able to locate one suitable for our needs. Several members of the team had been praying that one would be found. On August 22, a fully outfitted trailer became available to us at a price well below its value. It's total estimated worth was $14,000-$15,000. We were able to obtain it for $7,500. We were able to raise $3,900 from donations from individuals and the Blackshear Place Baptist Church. God provided the rest in a very unexpected and unique way.

The unit was picked up on September 4. The team was put on a two hour alert on September 5. On September 6, the unit and team were called into service and deployed to Burgaw, North Carolina to support and provide logistical communications for two Feeding Units and two Clean-up/Recovery Units (GBC) that had been activated due to the devastation by Hurricane Fran. We feel that God answered our prayers by making the trailer available to us. The timing of this event was phenomenal.

The team had not had the opportunity to have an organizational meeting prior to departure. We assembled, prayed for guidance and departed in a convoy for North Carolina on the afternoon of September 6. We were set up and operational within 30 minutes after arriving on the Disaster Relief Site. We immediately established contact with a Feeding and Clean-up/Recovery Unit that had been deployed to Warsaw, North Carolina, which was 44 miles north of our site. We also established radio contact with the American Red Cross, the local Emergency Operations Center and the GBC Disaster Relief Director, allowing our efforts to be totally coordinated for maximum efficiency.

After returning, we had our organizational meeting at the CBA Office on September 9, with 39 people present. Of those, 17 were already certified and the remainder were interested in volunteering with this unit. That evening 15 more people committed to go to Phase I training that was made available in January, 1997.

Since our early days, unit 14C has been called into service all over our State and many areas of our Nation providing critical communications with relief efforts form many Hurricanes, Floods, Tornados and The World Trade Center Disaster.

From our humble beginnings of less than 20 volunteers back in 1996, our volunteer base has increased to over 160 communications volunteers and counting. God is truly working within this Ministry.

Updated 6-5-08