The Americus/Sumter County Georgia Emergency Preparedness fair opened on schedule on Saturday, September 8, 2012. World Disaster Report was pleased to have a role in planning and organizing this fair, and we were continually impressed by the local organizing committee headed by Daniel Whitt, FTO, Americus Fire Department. The fair represented yet another great milestone in an Americus/Sumter County tradition of community cooperation. Citizens turned out in the early morning fog to view exhibits on family preparedness, how to grow and store food, making child identity cards, distributing emergency medical information cards, amateur radio exhibits, Humane Society animal adoption, teaching fire safety in the "smoke house", teaching youth how to operate fire extinguishers...we could go on and on.
Little Bird (the Ford 450 truck) and Big Bird (the communication and coordinating center trailer) are pictured below on the road in South Georgia, headed for Americus.
Members of the Americus/Sumter County organizing committee included the following.
Bill Twomey, Sumter County Administrator and EMA Director
Nigel Poole; Emergency Services Program Manager; American Red Cross, Flint River Chapter
Lynwood McClung; Emergency Coordinator, Phoebe Sumter Medical Center
Hank Wilson; Healthcare Liaison, West Central Health District
John Ekaitis; Fire Chief, Sumter County Fire Department
Left to right - Lt. Chris Ammons (Sumter Fire and Rescue), Bill Twomey (Sumter County Administrator), and Chief John Ekaitis (Sumter County Fire)
Jim Case of Georgia Second Harvest arrived with refrigerated water. This donation was welcomed by all on that very warm day.
It is impossible to name everyone who contributed to this great teaching activity, so we will acknowledge those organizations whose presence contributed the project's successful completion. These, along with many others deserve thanks from the whole community for their selfless efforts. Officials estimated fair attendance to be several hundred, and to our great delight many parents and youth leaders brought children who were welcomed by responders.
The following agencies and organizations set up displays at the fair and conducted instruction sessions and/or passed out free information to citizens.
Flint River American Red Cross, Second Harvest of South Georgia, Americus Amateur Radio Association, Americus Local Emergency Preparedness Committee, Sumter Electric Membership Co-Op, Americus Police Department and Fire and Emergency Services, Americus Medical Group, Georgia State Patrol, Sumter County Fire Department and Sheriff’s Office, Vital Care EMS, Sumter County Health Department, Phoebe Sumter Medical Center, Georgia Emergency Management Agency, Sumter County Emergency Management Division, Lifetea, Community Emergency Response Team (CERT), World Disaster Report, Agrium, South Georgia Conference of the United Methodist Church, CarMike Cinemas, Shelf reliance Foods, Tower Garden .
The life flight helicopter was unable to participate due to extremely foggy conditions in the early morning and an emergency mission later in the day.
Americus Police Department met the public distributed crime preventions and other preparedness information.
Georgia Highway Patrol Sgt. Russ Covington
Girl Scout troop 40302 came to learn
Cub Scout Pack 411 considers the fire training demonstration
Next stop for World Disaster Report - Big Bird/Little Bird will be on the road to Opelika/Lee County Alabama September 29th
Macon/Bibb County Georgia October 13th
Dublin/Laurens County Georgia October 27th.
Bibb County Ga. Preparedness Fair Organizers (EMA volunteers below)came to inspect the Americus event. World Disaster Report will be in Macon/Bibb County Georgia on October 13th, 2012.
Big Bird radios and systems electrical power provided by Solutions From Science
Americus Amateur Radio Association team educated the public on communications issues
Preparedness Fair called huge success
Organizers said the event was a huge success. Mark Long, chairman of the LEPC and also a board member of the Flint River Chapter of the American Red Cross (ARC), explained that the work of the LEPC is to make sure the community is aware of and be prepared for any type of emergency instead of waiting until a disaster has occurred.
“We want them to have steps and plans in advance to take care of their family. That’s the primary purpose of today’s event and the LEPC,” he said.
Flint River Red Cross volunteers provided educational materials and friendly encouragement to fair visitors