The Georgia Police & Fire Games were held in Columbus for the first time since 2002

COLUMBUS, Georgia (WRBL)— For the first time in 20 years, the Georgia Police and Fire Games are taking place right here in Columbus.

This year marks her 39th game and preparations to bring her to Fountain City have been underway for two years.

“A lot of us just drove to the previous host city to get an idea of ​​what we need to do and how to implement the 40 events in a week-long framework and with all the attendees attending,” said Columbus Sportraitin executive director Merri Sherman told WRBL. “We learned a lot from the previous host and have implemented various things over the past two years to prepare for this occasion.”

Columbus Fire & EMS Deputy Chief of Operations Daniel Macon two years ago helped submit the application to the Georgia Police and Fire Games Board to host the week-long event in Columbus. He says the last time the Games were held in Fountain City was in 2002.

“It was an event filled with camaraderie that we feel we really need to bring back to the city so we can showcase our law enforcement, our fire departments and other public safety departments.”

In 2002, the Games saw their largest attendance ever, with over 1,200 participants. Chief Macon says more than 700 participants have signed up this year and more are signing up every day.

“This is a pretty big event for our city because we get to give back to our first responders,” Sherman said. “It has been a pleasure working with our units here in the city. Columbus Fire & EMS, The Columbus Police Department, The Muscogee County Sheriff’s Office. The camaraderie between these three entities was fantastic and it was just wonderful to be a part of it here in our city.”

An opinion shared by both Chief Macon and Deputy Police Commissioner Joyce Dent-Fitzpatrick.

“It brings us all together, and there were people that I didn’t even know existed in other departments and departments of the city that we’re the closest of friends with now,” Chief Macon said. “And I can call them, and they can call me when we have these issues.”

“We are friends for life. “We’ve built a friendship over the years that’s unparalleled in terms of understanding, not just for our agencies, but for us as people,” Asst said. said Chef Fitzpatrick. “We have already said that the games should start. We’re Team CPD, but we’re also Team Columbus One. So when Columbus Fire & EMS win or the Muscogee County Sheriff’s Department gets the gold medal, it benefits us all.”

Other perks of these games include encountering the Fountain City. Downtown Columbus was a real hotspot this June with the Georgia GOP Convention, the Miss Georgia Scholarship Competition and now the Georgia Police and Fire Games all back-to-back.

“For the past two years, that’s been a Georgia Police and Fire Games Board thing. They wanted to make sure we had all the amenities their competitors had, all the restaurants, hotels and attractions. I mean, they’re seeing that firsthand here in Columbus,” Sherman said. “It is the first time for one of our Georgia Police and Fire Games board members. And he’s absolutely blown away by the restaurant scene and all the friendly people he’s met so far.”

This board member, Douglas Kerns, checked in with his family in downtown Columbus days before the games. He says they plan to stay for the rest of the week.

“Columbus is great. As Vice President of the Georgia Police and Fire Games. We’re glad to be here. We’re excited to have Columbus as the host,” said Kens. “We don’t usually get together unless there’s a major tragic event or a funeral. That’s why it’s very important for us here to come together and get to know everyone.”

The public is also invited to meet their local first responders at the South Commons Softball Complex next Saturday.

“Please come and support our agencies. We’re going to do Touch a Truck, we’re going to do the Police Motorbike Rodeo, which is great…it’s a family friendly event. We also have softball on this day. We’ll have police cars, police motorcycles, we’ll have our ATVs, our UTCs, we’ll have all kinds of gear that we use on a daily basis from all agencies, so please come along to support our local first responders. ”

The games start at 8am on Saturday, they are free and open to the public. See below for more information on Saturday and the rest of this week’s events.