Emergency agencies train to handle a disaster - WALB.com, South Georgia News, Weather, Sports

Emergency agencies train to handle a disaster

November 17, 2005

Albany - Emergency officials from across south Georgia met Thursday to find out if we're prepared to handle a disaster. Emergency Management directors, firefighters, public health, red cross officials and other first responders held a preparedness meeting in Albany.

23 southwest Georgia counties must split homeland security money that comes down from the federal government. So much of the equipment, such as a new hazardous material response vehicle, must be shared.

The meeting is a way for the officials to swap ideas about procedures that have proven to save lives and property and to test equipment that can help during a disaster.

"In fact one of the big things we're going to do today after the initial meeting is we're going to go outside. All the of EMA Directors are going to get a chance to see out emergency response equipment," said Dougherty County EMA Deputy Director Jim Vaught. "It's a major trailer with a truck to pull it. A lot of equipment is involved in it. There's a lot of capabilities there to be able to analyze what kind of hazardous material may have been spilled."

The southwest Georgia district got about $1.3-million in homeland security money last year. The haz-mat vehicle, protective suits, and training on the equipment cost $330,000.

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