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POLITICAL NOTEBOOK: Campaign launched for trauma fee

A new campaign has kicked off, but not for a local candidate.

The Yes 2 Save Lives Campaign launched this week to urge voters to say yes on a referendum on the Nov. 2 ballot.

The second constitutional amendment proposed on the ballot asks for a $10 car registration fee dedicated to establish a statewide trauma care network.

After years of debate in the General Assembly, the funding source was moved forward to help establish new trauma centers in the state. Currently, there are 16 designated trauma care centers, but a press release from the campaign said at least 30 are needed to meet the needs of the state.

"No one likes to think about the need for trauma care," said Dr. Dennis Ashley, campaign spokesperson and chief of trauma services at the Medical Center of Central Georgia. "But we can't help people who don't get to us in time. There is a critical window of 60 minutes after a serious injury to get life-saving care. For children, the window is only 30 minutes."

According to the press release, Georgia's trauma death rate is 20 percent higher than the national average because trauma care facilities and staffing are severely limited. Car crashes are the leading cause of trauma injuries in Georgia; other causes include serious accidents at work and home.

Expected to generate $80 million annually, the proposed car tag fee would go toward training more 911 professionals, first responders, critical care nurses and physicians, equipping trauma centers and upgrading more emergency rooms to trauma centers, the release said.

"Trauma care is a life and death matter," Ashley said. "Traumatic accidents and injuries happen in a split second. Every day, families are at risk of losing a loved one because the state's trauma network is inadequate. We have a window of opportunity to fix this problem by voting 'yes,' Nov. 2 on Amendment 2."

The campaign TV ad, "Lights Out," can be viewed at www.Yes2SaveLives.com/our-ads/. For more information, visit Yes2SaveLives.com or call 404-880-3460.

Isakson, Deal to appear at rally

U.S. Sen. Johnny Isakson, who is facing a re-election battle in November, will be part of a Republican rally this weekend.

Former U.S. Rep. Nathan Deal, the GOP's nominee for governor is also expected to attend the event, scheduled for noon to 2 p.m. Saturday at Wild Bill's, located near Gwinnett Place Mall in Duluth.

Political Notebook appears in the Thursday and Sunday editions of the Gwinnett Daily Post.

Camie Young can be reached via e-mail at camie.young@gwinnettdailypost.com.