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Badge & Bar: $13K machine donated to Gainesville Fire Department
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Nick Watson covers public safety issues for The Times. Share your thoughts, news tips and questions with him:


Today, the Gainesville Fire Department is set to receive something that will get hearts pumping.

The agency is receiving a $13,000 chest compression machine, known as a LUCAS, celebrating the gift at the Shallowford Road Firehouse Subs at 10:30 a.m.

The LUCAS machine compresses 30 times before allowing a paramedic to breathe for the injured person. Hall County Fire Services already has four of these devices, but the hope is to have one for every engine.

On Aug. 21, members of the Gainesville Fire Department said they were in the process of procuring a LUCAS device, meeting with a woman saved by the machine.

Department of Juvenile Justice announces new Citizens’ Academy

The Department of Juvenile Justice, in an effort to give Georgia residents a view of the system, is introducing a DJJ CItizens’ Academy.

Commissioner Avery D. Niles said the five-week workshop will allow members of the academy to grasp a greater understanding of DJJ’s operations.

“The Citizens’ Academy will provide those participants with a 360-degree scope of our enhanced juvenile correctional practices,” Niles said in a news release. “We have a core belief in transparent government at DJJ and we support the governor’s vision for a safer and better-educated Georgia.”

Beginning on Oct. 23, the academy will address topics ranging from the general functioning of the system to education opportunities.

Only 20 local residents may participate, with an application and screening process required for acceptance.

A schedule of sessions is still being crafted.

Niles was appointed Aug. 22 to sit on the Georgia council for Interstate Juvenile Supervision, which will communicate with other states regarding the transfer and accountability of juveniles in custody.

Construction moving forward at correctional institute

Progress is being made with construction of the new Hall County Correctional Institute on Barber Road, the frame of the building in the shadow of the current facility.

“The walls are starting to go up,” said Warden Walt Davis. “We’ve gotten beyond just the subgrade aspects of things, and we’re on schedule.”

The project was approved in January, with inmates providing some of the labor to build the facility slated for opening next year. The estimated cost of the institute is between $3 million and $4 million.

“I think what’s going to take us a while is to get all the door frames placed and walls built,” Davis said. “The door frames, from a security standpoint, have to be grouted into the concrete block walls.”


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