|OPINION PAGE - DEC. 29, 1999 - DANIELSVILLE, GA|
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of the Year'
By Amanda Roberts
The Madison County Journal
December 29, 1999
I can see!!!
My senior year in college is when it happened. I tried to ignore it. This happens to people who are ... you know ... old. I'm young. It can't be happening to me, I would say. I ignored it for a long time until I couldn't stand it any longer. I had to admit it: my eyesight wasn't what it used to be. I couldn't see the board. I couldn't read road signs. Everything from afar was blurry. I had to go to the eye doctor. I couldn't believe I had to wear glasses.
I hated those glasses!! I refused to wear them. I had at least 50 excuses explaining why I couldn't wear them. My next eye exam was awful. My vision was only getting worse. CONTACTS!! That's it. I will wear contacts.
My sister, Angie, has worn them forever. Why didn't I get them in the first place? Little did I know that contacts would only be a bigger thorn than glasses. I went through five different kinds. Every pair danced around in my eyes. One pair was lost somewhere in my eyelids for about two days. Daddy pinned me down and about rolled my eyeball out of my head. That's enough!! No more contacts. Something else must be out there for me.
Aunt Peggy came to my rescue. She told me about corrective eye surgery. We watched a video about it. This painless surgery was the way for me. I couldn't make the appointment fast enough. Angie would be so happy for me. I can always count on her for support. When I called her, the response I got was ... NO!! YOU'LL GO BLIND!! YOU'RE NOT SERIOUS ... I'M TELLIN' MAMA!
Well, this really made me want to have the surgery. I would prove her wrong. I wasn't nervous at all until the night before. Angie called to inform me that she and Mama were going to be there with me. Every step of the way. Great, a worrywort and a pessimist.
We arrived at the doctor's office early. First mistake. I didn't know you could sit in the waiting room and watch the doctor perform the surgery. Then there was the TV screen which showed the eye and every move the doctor made. Angie was like a cat on a hot tin roof. I almost had to blindfold her. Before the procedure began, they game me a few "relaxers." I wish Angie and Mama could have had some. They needed it more than me. I decided to go first so Angie and Mama wouldn't have a nervous breakdown.
The surgery didn't last long at all and was really painless. Even though Angie said I told her that it was very painful afterward. Having to stare at a bright light was the hardest thing for me. Other than that, it really wasn't bad. I could almost see clearly the minute I got up. I thanked God it was over and everything went successfully. Angie finally calmed down.
The doctors are great! They called to check on me and have made several appointments to continue checking my vision. My vision is 20/15! I can't tell you how wonderful it is to not wrestle with contacts or wear glasses all of the time. Thank God, I can see and I didn't listen to Angie.
Amanda Roberts is a fourth grade teacher at Maysville Elementary School and resident of Homer.
Her sister, Angie Gary, is associate editor of The Jackson Herald and editor of The Banks County News.
The Madison County Journal
December 29, 1999
Madison County fire-rescue Y2K ready
Madison County's fire and rescue services are ready and prepared for the change of the millennium. The fire departments, rescue service, the Madison County Emergency Management Agency, the Madison County Emergency Communications Center (E-911), and the Madison County Sheriff's Department have worked together to prepare for any likely event during the New Year's Eve-New Year's morning period.
The computer and dispatch equipment at the E-911 center were purchased this year and are certified to be Y2K compliant. The E-911 center has a backup electrical battery system and a backup power generator that can use either natural gas or propane. Each transmitter site also has a backup power generator. All generators will be tested on December 31. Extra dispatchers will be on duty.
Both Alltel and BellSouth have tested their equipment and have found it to be Y2K compliant. The only likely problem could come from customers overloading the system with calls to friends and relatives extending New Year's wishes. If this happens, you will not get a dial tone. If you have an emergency and don't get a dial tone, do not hang up. The phone company equipment will give you a dial tone on a first come-first served basis.
Beginning about 10 p.m. on Dec. 31, all emergency radios and pagers in the county will be tested. This is to make sure there are no problems before the change of the year. The equipment will be tested again in the first 30 minutes of the New Year. If there are problems, representatives of our radio company and the service contractor for our E-911 system will be available. Representatives from the fire service, the rescue service, and Madison County Emergency Management Agency will also be present in the E-911 center. Extra deputies will be on duty.
All fire stations in Madison County will be manned from around 10 p.m. on New Year's Eve until it has been determined that all telephone, electrical and other communication systems are working. If you have an emergency and cannot contact the E-911 center, go to your nearest fire station. Firefighters will be able to help and also communicate with other emergency services, including the ambulance service and sheriff's department. DO NOT GO TO THE E-911 CENTER DURING THE Y2K PERIOD. This will be a secure area and you will not be admitted.
Sometimes there is an advantage to having old equipment. Some of the radios in our fire trucks are so old that they were built before computer chips were invented. If everything else fails, we are confident this equipment will work.
The Federal Emergency Management Agency and Georgia Emergency Management Agency have some simple advice to prepare for the change of the year. Prepare for Y2K as you would for a winter storm. Have three or four days' food and drinking water in the house. Make sure you have adequate food for infants and people with special dietary needs. Just as before a snow storm, it is highly likely there will be a run on bread, milk, black-eyed peas and collard greens at your local grocery store on New Year's Eve. Be prepared. Have any vital prescriptions refilled toward the end of the year. Have a good supply of batteries for flashlights and a transistor radio. Fill the gas tank in your car. If you have an alternative heat source like a kerosene heater, make sure it is properly vented. Remember that Coleman stoves are not designed for use indoors. If you have a fireplace, have some wood in a dry place. If there is a problem, and none are expected locally, stay calm. Madison County's two banks are fully Y2K compliant. Both banks expect their ATM machines to work normally during the Y2K period. Having a large amount of cash only increases the chance you will be a crime victim. The volunteers of your Madison County Fire Departments and Rescue Service will be on duty so that everyone else in our county can have a safe, worry-free, and happy New Year.
Dale Perry, Madison County Volunteer Firefighters Association
Johnny Bridges, Madison County Emergency Management Agency
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