The City of Aragon has taken a strong step towards both keeping locals safe and helping those in surrounding areas by agreeing to join the Statewide Mutual Aid and Assistance Agreement. Various entities in Georgia have signed the pact and agreed to provide reciprocal assistance and management aid in cases of disasters or emergencies.
This means that, should Aragon face those same emergencies or disasters, they would be eligible for help from the other participating agencies. If Aragon is the entity providing aid, the city is eligible for reimbursement for costs accrued while helping.
The agreement, created by the the Georgia Emergency Management Agency in cooperation with GMA and ACCG, serves as almost supplemental aid so that municipalities don’t have to rely exclusively on the sometimes slow, limited federal and state aid.
It’s a move the group found to have little risk and high reward – especially since Aragon has the smallest police department in Polk County. The agreement is also renewed on an annual basis, so if the venture proves to be more of a burden than a help, Aragon can opt out in the future.
More information about the agreement can be found by visiting www.accg.org.
The council also completed the first reading of their House Number Ordinance to make sure the city’s own officers have an easier time doing their job. Many Aragon buildings no longer have their address number listed on them, so the document would require homes to list and clearly display this number for emergency personnel who would otherwise have difficulty finding their location.
Even if there are nearby houses with numbers to provide context clues, the numbering often doesn’t line up perfectly and many of the building descriptions that dispatchers might provide could be outdated.
“We’re wasting valuable time,” Aragon Police Department Officer Marc Riley said. “Because if somebody’s life is depending on us getting there to help them, and they don’t have a house number, we’re kind of running the line.”
The City of Rockmart passed a similar house numbers document in recent years that was also designed to make sure officers, EMS, and firefighters don’t have to waste time combating ambiguity in their destination.
The ordinance couldn’t be formally approved during the group’s November 21 meeting, so those with thoughts and input about the document can attend the Aragon Council’s meetings on the third Thursday of each month.
Other items discussed during the meeting include updates to the holiday and vacation pay that city employees receive. Employees must now work the regularly scheduled day before and after a holiday to receive the benefit, and the city’s officers are being given a chance to carry over a certain amount of unused vacation hours this year before a new limitation takes place next year.
More information about the city, the council, and meetings can be found by visiting http://www.cityofaragon.com/.