South Health Terror Response

Georgia's South Health district will soon distribute nearly $300,000 in federal money to help protect the area against terror threats. The money will fund a wide variety of protective services.

Terrorism response experts say this latest round of money will help south Georgia get closer to being prepared for whatever threats may arise, whether it’s terrorism or a simple accident.

The federal government has stepped up its effort, pouring millions into terrorism response efforts including the nearly $300,000 recently awarded to the South Health district.

Mike Terwilliger, South Georgia Emergency Preparedness Director, says, “Here in Phase 2 we concentrated on what we call surge capacity or bed capacity of hospitals. Also, more on decontamination to get the community overall ready."

In addition to increasing bed capacity at the hospitals in the 10-county South Health district, the money will also protect emergency crews and train them on the latest threats and response methods.

Terwilliger adds, "We've actually come a long way and there will be more money coming down. We're doing more to prepare them for different events. As the federal government sends down money to the state, we'll get the money out to the hospitals."

Terrorism response experts say now that hospitals and public health officials are working together, health care providers will continue to get the tools they need to properly respond.

Terwilliger says, "They always tried to figure out how to fund these particular items. They always planned to do it and planned more, but as you know in most hospitals, money is very tight, so the funding coming down is a grant from the federal government, and it’s really helping this area get better prepared."

Some may wonder why Georgia's South Health district would receive so much terrorism response money, but officials say this area needs it, especially because I-75 stretches down the middle of this 10-county district.

This grant will help with the current preparedness level. They say the preparedness levels for this area are good, but it will be a never ending battle to keep up with the latest threats.