COVERED: Modern businesses know they must take care of their most valuable employees. So when Elvin Price at Atlanta Attachment Company in Lawrenceville was planning a new office building, one of the elements came to be covered parking for its top employees. Creative employment practices such as this no doubt results a happier employee, and a longer-lasting employee. A big "Attaboy!" to Atlanta Attachment for his innovative thinking.
Issue 12.19 | Friday, June 8, 2012
GwinnettForum.com is a twice-weekly online community commentary for exploring pragmatic and sensible social, political and economic approaches to improve life in Gwinnett County, Ga. USA.
LAWRENCEVILLE, Ga., June 8, 2012 -- First a little history the Gwinnett County Fire Department was established in 1971 with one fire station and 10 members. Over the next 40 years we evolved into the Gwinnett County Department of Fire and Emergency Services.
This evolution involved the complete integration of a tiered response, transport Emergency Medical Services (EMS) function and growth to a current service capacity that responds to 65,000+ incidents annually from 30 fire stations with a staff of nearly 850 personnel.
In considering all the standards that exist for providing fire and emergency services, it is almost too easy to view planning for the future through a scope of service delivery that is too narrow. Let me explain.
The Insurance Service Office (ISO), in some areas, continues to be the standard by which we measure our capacity. If ISO is the only measure employed, we may fail to address EMS capacity completely. NFPA (National Fire Protection Association) 1710 also offers excellent standards of measure in a broader sense. The Center for Public Safety Excellence Accreditation offers an even broader set of measure and adds the opportunity for flexibility as well as verification of service levels.
The previous explanation was given to get to the point of how we manage our resources and use the standards from the listed agencies, and a few others, to provide what we believe is service that is "Right for Gwinnett." Our goal is to have a minimum of five firefighter/EMTs or firefighter/paramedics in every station. We are just a few stations shy of reaching this goal currently and have enjoyed strong support to accomplish this goal in the next few years.
Every firefighter is also certified as an EMT or paramedic and every EMT or paramedic is a certified firefighter. Apparatus assignments are rotated on a daily basis in order to support an environment that reduces burnout and maintains experience levels.
It also allows high acuity EMS calls to receive five EMTs/paramedics within minutes. The fact that the EMS crew contains five highly trained personnel dramatically reduces scene times and provides for seamless continuity of care throughout the incident.
This staffing model allows Gwinnett Fire and Emergency Services to meet metrics laid out by several agencies. For example, ISO standards are met by geographic coverage: 98 percent of the county is within five miles of a fire station. ISO now counts firefighters who arrive at the scene on a medic unit, this adds points!
NFPA 1710 suggests four personnel should arrive at a structure fire, followed by a full compliment shortly thereafter. While they arrive on two pieces, our first due response provides five firefighters to most structure fires. In addition to first due companies, our squads provide four additional firefighters to structures without having to add additional pumpers.
As for EMS response and care standards, the model provides five care givers for high acuity calls which allows us to get most chest pain patients to definitive care within 30 minutes and trauma patients off the scene in 12 minutes all while maintaining a seamless continuum of care. It is also important to note that low acuity calls get the most appropriate apparatus for the incident a single unit response may be a medic unit or engine depending on location, call type, and availability.
JUNE 8, 2012 -- It's the job of the media, we feel, to keep its readers and listeners as fully informed as possible, especially on governmental and neighborhood topics.
For us, this extends to making our space available for candidates to post information about their campaigns ... for which we'll swap them space for free if they come visit us so that we can meet them and ask them questions about their candidacy. We'll then use the information we gather from as many candidates for local offices as possible to determine which of these candidates we think best for the people to vote for .in effect, to endorse candidates for office.
In the 2010 political year, we asked candidates for state, Congressional, statehouse and local offices to pay us a 30 minute visit. Wow, did they respond! In all, in 2010 we spent 30 minutes with 95 candidates, getting to know them, evaluating their candidacies, and eventually, making endorsements in the primaries, runoff elections and General Election.
These days we're inviting candidates to come visit us again. We hope to talk to all the candidates on the local ballots (that have opposition) before July 1, and make our endorsements in the mid-July postings. We have a long way yet to go, though we are steadily making inroads in speaking with the candidates.
We lament the fact that more newspapers are run by bean-counters, and don't take editorials or political endorsing seriously. We were buoyed by the news in recent weeks that the No. 1 investor in the nation, Warren Buffett, was purchasing 63 newspaper properties of Media General Inc. This includes newspapers from Richmond, Va. to North Carolina's Winston-Salem and Greensboro, Dothan, Ala., and Florence, S.C.
We were particularly pleased to see a recent editorial from the Florence Morning News concerning political endorsements. They, too, take this effort seriously.
That newspaper wrote, in part:
Not only will we endorse, but we will also allow the candidate to talk directly to our readers. We will ask all candidates six questions and limit their answers to 100 words (for space and readership), to give our readers a feel for each candidates. We hope to post the candidate's answers in early July.
After all, an informed readership is who we are working for, as they make intelligent decisions about whom they will vote. Stay tuned.
Professional healthcare programs leading to doctorate degrees in Pharmacy and Osteopathic Medicine are offered at Georgia Campus-Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine in Suwanee, Ga. Graduate degrees at the master's level are offered in Organizational Development and Leadership and Biomedical Sciences. In addition, GA-PCOM has partnered with Brenau University in Gainesville (Ga.) to offer a five-year Physician Assistant degree, as well as an optional MBA with a healthcare focus for DO and PharmD candidates. An additional cohort for the PA degree is being developed at Thomas University in Thomasville, Ga. Information about these program offering is available at 678-225-7500 or www.pcom.edu
Editor, the Forum:
Wish more of our leaders would take the approach Charlotte Nash did in asking the attorneys to leave the room! I wish my city leaders had that courage.
There are two things to consider regarding the constant presence of attorneys in our governing process.
With the lawyers ever present, no one can stretch that decision-making process to mean our elected leaders are really representing the people... they are capitulating to the "legal industry" and we are paying the fee.
Feels smoking ban benefits the 80 percent who do not smoke
Editor, the Forum:
Over the last few weeks, I've heard two basic arguments against the Norcross tobacco ban. First, "Banning smoking and tobacco use will cause financial ruin to Norcross businesses." and, "We don't want government telling us what to do!"
In regards to the first claim, I sincerely empathize with the worries of our local businesses who fear any change that might impact their bottom line. But, I ask them, and our City Council, to remember that change is almost always frightening, and it takes courage to do the right thing for the future when the past seemed easy and the present seems safe enough.
Please do not give in to hysteria that prohibiting smokers on the streets of Norcross will result in a drastic and permanent downturn in business. The numbers tell us otherwise. 80 percent of Gwinnett County residents do not smoke, and we have money to spend in local establishments. Like many of my neighbors, I'd spend more time and money eating, drinking and enjoying the downtown Norcross nightlife if the streets and venues were smoke-free. I resist hanging out in second-hand smoke. I won't pay to suffer in the moment and risk my health in the future.
In regards to the second argument, the fact is, the Norcross City Government is not telling us what TO do, or what NOT to do. It is telling perhaps 20 percent WHERE they cannot do something, namely smoke or chew tobacco on City property, in support of the 80 percent of us who do not do those in public. That is a perfectly reasonable act for our City Council to take.
I've recently read the claim that it is unconstitutional for the government to limit smoking in public. This is a misunderstanding of not only the United States Constitution, but our state and local laws. Quite simply, our governments, and this City Council in particular, DO have the right to limit activities in public that you have no right to govern in private. Smoking/tobacco use are among those activities. Similar bans have been enacted in cities and towns all over the country and state Supreme Courts have upheld them. The U.S. Supreme Court has yet to overrule any lower courts.
I end with this reminder that the United States Constitution begins with, "We the People of the United States, in order to form a more perfect Union, establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defence [sic], promote the general Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America."
I ask the Norcross City Council to abide by the US Constitution and help insure domestic tranquility, promote the general Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity by keeping this smoking ban, or a very comparable one, in effect.
Wants schools to curb dependence on Styrofoam lunch trays
Editor, the Forum:
You can help make positive changes now for the 2012-2013 school year by encouraging the Gwinnett County School Board to reduce their dependence on Styrofoam lunch trays.
Even if you don't yet have a child in this school system, you may pay taxes towards this wasteful and toxic practice. Speak up in favor of better solutions!
I'm trying to collect 100 signatures, and I could really use your help.
more about what I'm trying to do and to sign my petition, click here:
It'll just take a minute! Once you're done, please ask your friends to sign the petition as well. Grassroots movements succeed because people like you are willing to spread the word!
Cobb may benefit from T-SPLOST, but little help to Gwinnett
Editor, the Forum:
I just hung up the phone from the 'wireside' chat teleconference to take voter questions about the proposed one percent sales tax and how it would be used to improve commuter transportation in the greater Atlanta area. I really appreciate the conference call, but my take away was that it is not in the interest of Gwinnett County, at least not the way it was presented.
This will be a large program consisting of over 157 individual projects ranging from sidewalks to downtown trolleys to a tower upgrade at the airport. They say they chose these projects to stay within the constraints of state law. To me, its 157 potential opportunities for administrators to say that they are over budget. I say fix the law first; then come back with a solid transportation bill that that is focused, achievable, and has an achievable completion date.
The overwhelming focus of the project is to benefit Cobb County and specifically to ease the commute between Kennesaw and downtown Atlanta. I heard nothing about how it would directly impact the commuting woes of someone heading into work from Suwanee, Norcross, Duluth, or Lawrenceville. I don't mind paying a little extra for a project that benefits the whole greater than the part, but it is simply too large and to spread out to ever determine what got completed and the impact that it had on commuting.
Worse, the region has been suffering from reduced property tax revenues associated with lower property values due to the housing bubble. Light rail increases property value; not commuter buses like they are proposing. Not even dedicated reversible-direction HOV lanes can impact home prices in the areas affected. Commuter rail alone has been shown repeatedly to elevate and sustain property value. To me that at least establishes a return-on-investment that would be the start of something that would eventually come this way. As for now, I plan on voting 'no' on this hodge-podge package of inauditable small projects.
No reason for referendums to settle complicated questions
Editor, the Forum:
I have a few thoughts on the concept of a referendum on the airport, as a Dacula resident who is against commercialization, but not privatization.
Registered voters in Gwinnett County will soon receive new precinct ID cards in the mail. Lynn Ledford, elections supervisor, says: "Georgia law requires that we issue new cards to notify voters when their political districts have changed, so we will send out cards starting June 8 in preparation for this year's upcoming elections."
The yellow cards will include the voter's polling location and all political districts for the residential address. Voters should keep these cards for their records. If the address shown on the card is incorrect, voters need to provide the correct address and send it to the Elections Office. If the cards are received by the voter registration deadline, a new precinct card will be issued with the updated information. Voters can also visit the Georgia Secretary of State's My Voter Page at www.sos.georgia.gov/MVP/Login.aspx to find their poll location, as well as view their registration and absentee ballot request status, find early voting locations and view sample ballots for upcoming elections.
The 2012 General Primary/Nonpartisan election will take place on Tuesday, July 31. The deadline to register to vote and be eligible to cast a ballot in the election is Monday, July 2. Registered voters may request an absentee ballot by mail or cast their ballots in person from July 9 to July 27, Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. at the Elections Office, located at 455 Grayson Highway in Lawrenceville. Advance voting options will also be available for the election; visit www.gwinnettelections.com for locations and dates.
Suwanee seeks 3-minute amateur videos promoting the city
Do you see life through the lens of a video camera? Do you have what it takes to produce a fun, slightly off-the-wall, three minute video about the joys of living in Suwanee? If so, perhaps you could win up to $1,000 in the City's first-ever video competition. Winning videos will be uploaded to the City of Suwanee's YouTube channel and made available via www.suwanee.com.
City officials hope to receive several fun, creative videos...that are a bit edgy, without being profane or offensive, videos that have the potential to go viral. The city is looking toward the creative community for an "insider's take" on living in Suwanee.
More than one video may be selected as a winner. Up to $2,500 may be awarded through the competition with up to $1,000 being awarded for individual videos. The City of Suwanee reserves the right not to select any winning videos. The deadline for submission is July 20. Applications are available at online and must be submitted with video entries.
New London Theatre presents The Miracle Worker
Theatre will present The Miracle Worker opening June 8 and continuing
through June 24 on Friday, Saturday and Sundays in our new location!
Tickets are $12 in advance or $15 on the day of the show. Children/students (3-19) and seniors (55+) are always $10. Shows are performed at New London Theatre: 2338 Henry Clower Boulevard in Snellville. For additional information about this and future performances, auditions, ticket purchases, volunteering, or donations, see our Web site www.newlondontheatre.org or call at 770-559-1484.
Environmental Center getting $2.2 million in improvements
Environmental and Heritage Center will get a new festival field, expanded
parking and a new storage building on its campus near the Mall of Georgia.
Commissioners approved a $2.22 million bid from the lowest of three bidders,
Ed Castro Landscape Inc., this past Tuesday.
(Continued from previous edition)
Sacred Harp sings date back to at least the 1860s in the Okefenokee Swamp. The "shape-note" singing tradition in Georgia began during the antebellum period as a way to teach congregations to sing. Traveling teachers used "four-shape" tune books with religious lyrics in which different-shaped note heads were assigned to the European musical scale of fa, sol, la, and mi.
Within southeast Georgia, conservative Primitive Baptist beliefs combined with the relative cultural isolation of the Okefenokee to foster a distinctive stylistic variant of Sacred Harp. Characteristics included walking time in a counterclockwise fashion according to the meter of the tune, and the same slow tempos and melodic ornamentation found in the Primitive Baptist meetinghouse.
Primitive Baptist churches, with their unaccompanied, lined hymn traditions, exist in much smaller numbers today, but they have been a major force influencing local culture. The simple wooden meetinghouses of the Crawfordite subsect of Primitive Baptists are a distinctive feature of Okefenokee traditional architecture. Missionary Baptist, Pentecostal, and Methodist churches now dominate the region, however, and tent meetings, revivals, and gospel sings have superseded the Sacred Harp tradition.
Collector Francis Harper documented swamper secular music such as locally composed songs and variants of Barbara Allen, and The Little Mohee (or Lassie Mohee), and other widely disseminated ballads, a few of which are still sung. Harper also documented hollering or yodeling, a distinctive alternation of head and chest tones sometimes interspersed with song fragments, which was used to call hogs and cattle, to signal that an individual was returning home, or simply to have fun. This tradition is no longer widespread, although a few families maintain the practice. Country western and bluegrass bands have largely replaced old-time frolics and square dances.
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© 2012, Gwinnett Forum.com. Gwinnett Forum is an online community commentary for exploring pragmatic and sensible social, political and economic approaches to improve life in Gwinnett County, Ga. USA.
Visit this site to see details of the upcoming funerals of Gwinnett Countians from local funeral homes. On the site, sign up at top right and we'll send you GwinnettObits each day.
Click on the names below to see details of their funerals.
"Oh, then there is character/honor/integrity ..someone ought to erect a headstone for those poor brothers."
MORE COPIES AVAILABLE
Previously out of print, Elliott Brack's 850-page history, "Gwinnett: A Little Above Atlanta," is now available again. Since its original publication, the book was declared the winner of the 2010 Award of Excellence for documenting Georgia history by the Georgia Historical Records Advisory Board. It is also the winner of the Gwinnett Historical Society's Whitworth-Flanigan Award for 2011 for preserving the history of Gwinnett County.The book includes 143 demographic and historic tables, with more than 4,000 names in the index, and 10,000 names in the appendix.Two versions of the book are available. The hardback edition is priced at $75, while a softback edition is $40. Books are available at:
You can also order
books through the Internet. To do that, go to www.elliottbrack.com
to place your order. For mail orders, there is a $5 shipping and handling
fee. Purchases are also subject to the 6 percent Georgia sales tax.
SEARCH GWINNETT FORUM
IN THE COMING WEEK
(NEW) Buford Business After Hours: 5:30 p.m., June 12, Atlanta Bread Company at Mall of Georgia, on the lower level near Nordstrom. Details: Contact Gene Kerley.
Book signing: 6 p.m., June 12, Norcross Welcome Center by Carole Townsend, author of Southern Fried White Trash. She is a former reporter for Gwinnett Daily Post. The Welcome Center is at 189 Lawrenceville Street in Norcross.
Success Lives Here Breakfast: 7:30 a.m., June 15, 1818 Club, 6500 Sugarloaf Parkway, Duluth. Featured speaker will be Norcross Mayor Bucky Johnson. For more details, call 770 232-3000.
SOON AND ONGOING
Career and Job Fair at Gwinnett Village Community Alliance: 9 a.m. to 3 p.m., June 22, Victory World Church, 50905 Brook Hollow Parkway, Norcross. Approximately 30 employers will be there. This is the Alliance's third Fair. Learn more by email or call 770-402-4697.
Miles-4-Smiles Race/Walk: Beginning 9:30 a.m., June 23, Tribble Mill Park, Lawrenceville. This second annual Amanda Riley Foundation event consist of a 10K, 5K and Mile Walk/Run, with the course certified as a Peachtree Road Race qualifier. Details via email.
Field Day of the Gwinnett Amateur Radio Society and Gwinnett Amateur Radio Emergency: Starting at 2 p.m. June 23 and lasting for 24 hours. The event is at Sweetwater Park, 800 Bethesda School Road near Lawrenceville. The public is invited to attend and see ham radio's new capabilities. For more details, go to www.gars.org or call 770 840 9664.
(NEW) Kudzu Art Zone will present Evelyn Breit, a figure and landscape artist, demonstrating her figure drawing technique: 7 p.m., June 25, Art Zone, 116 Carlyle Street, Norcross. More information.
MORE EEB PERSPECTIVE
© 2001-2012, Gwinnett Forum.com is Gwinnett County's online community forum for commentary that explores pragmatic and sensible social, political and economic approaches to improve life in Gwinnett County, Ga. USA.