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Burn centers now part of trauma network
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In Augusta and Columbia County on Thursday, Gov. Nathan Deal signed three bills into law. The governor signed HB 307, a bill that designates burn trauma centers treating the largest portion of significant burn cases — at least 300 patients annually — as designated facilities of the Georgia Trauma Care Network Commission.

“Despite Georgia’s fast-paced growth and a population of more than 9.8 million people in our state, we have only two major burn trauma centers, which bear the demand of treating patients with serious burn injuries. One center is at Doctors Hospital in Augusta; the other is at Grady Hospital in Atlanta,” said Deal. “This designation will permit Georgia Trauma Care Network Commission funding for the treatment of indigent burn victims at these burn centers.

“We must ensure our state is well-positioned to continue to provide critical care to victims of these life-threatening injuries.”

Deal signed the bill during a ceremony at the Enterprise Mill in Augusta. While there, Deal also enacted SB 240, a bill that creates a new class of motor vehicles and personal transportation vehicles (golf carts). Georgia is one of the world’s largest manufacturers of golf carts, and this legislation aims not only to promote the use of golf carts but also to support job growth in the state.

Gov. Deal also signed HB 280, which allows counties and municipalities with excess 911 funds to utilize that money for 911-related expenses. Currently that money was restricted to expenses as defined when the Georgia Emergency Telephone Act was passed in 1977, and HB 280 permits money to be spent on modern technologies.