Emergency water purification highlighted during the 2012 EMAG conference.
First Water attended the 2012 Emergency Management Association of Georgia (EMAG) annual conference in Savannah, Georgia. EMAG has three primary goals. The first is to assist members in their efforts to save lives and protect property from the effects of disasters. Second, it provides a forum for professionals to discuss current issues in the emergency management field. And finally, EMAG serves as a policy advisory board both to local emergency management agencies and to the Georgia Emergency Management Agency.
The annual EMAG conference is an opportunity for emergency management professionals to gather from across the state and discuss issues relevant to their industry. Representatives from state and local EMA, fire departments, hospitals and healthcare regions were in attendance. First Water had the opportunity to conduct workshops on emerging technologies related to emergency water purification and filtration. Along with presentations about new technologies, First Water briefed Georgia's emergency management professionals about water purification resources currently deployed across the state.
The state of Georgia has shown remarkable progress as commercial and VA hospitals, fire departments, and public health have deployed emergency water filtration assets across the state in both local and regional capacities. Most notable is the coordination between the Georgia Hospital Association, the Georgia Emergency Management Agency, and hospitals in each of the states 15 regions. Utilizing federal funding, the state of Georgia coordinated the purchase and deployment of 720 gallon per hour mobile water purification systems for each region. The assets are stored and maintained by the region coordination hospital. This resource is available for regional or statewide deployment in the event of a natural disaster that compromises the supply of safe drinking water to any of the states hospitals.
In addition to the coordinated effort of Georgia's hospitals, many fire departments have taken advantage of First Water's emergency water filtration systems. The City of Smyrna Fire Department pioneered the program by installing a single 60 gallon per hour water purification unit onboard one of their trucks. This system allowed them to distribute potable water to both emergency personnel and citizens during deployments. Building on this success, the Georgia Mutual Aid Group created a purchasing program that allows fire departments to coordinate the deployment of regional assets to be utilized in similar capacities.
The State of Georgia has done an exceptional job of recognizing the need for safe drinking water in the event of an emergency. The regional efforts highlighted above are in addition to the multitude of local jurisdiction and commercial hospitals that have independently deployed First Water assets into their water contingency plans. First Water is proud to call Georgia home and to partner with EMAG in ongoing programs that will further equip the state to mitigate water disruptions.