ESi convention in Augusta expected to draw 400

Annual meeting set to bring $475,000 to area

More than 400 emergency managers from around the world will meet in Augusta in two weeks.

The annual conference by locally based emergency management software company ESi will bring $475,000 to the metro area, according to the Augusta Convention and Visitors Bureau.

"We're excited that our attendees are coming to Augusta, where they can experience our home city and take advantage of this unique opportunity for learning, sharing ideas, and meeting new colleagues," said Nadia Butler, ESi's CEO and president.

The conference at the Augusta Marriott Hotel & Suites from March 28 through April 1 will emphasize the WebEOC crisis information management system, used by government and corporate agencies around the globe.

One speaker, Maj. Gen. Jonathan T. Treacy, is the commander of Joint Task Force-Civil Support for U.S. Northern Command.

"If there was a major emergency incident in the U.S., he would be responsible for the government response," ESi spokesman Norm Viksna said.

Khaled Abdulla Al Mansoori, of the United Arab Emirates, is president of the International Association of Emergency Managers' international council, and he will speak on the challenges his region has faced in dealing with international emergencies.

Coming to Augusta from Singapore is Nathaniel Forbes, the Asia Council president for the International Association of Emergency Managers, who will talk about the growing global water crisis.

The conference will also feature speakers from all over the U.S. who have used the WebEOC system to help them in their day-to-day duties. Among them is Brian Matheny, an emergency medical technician from McCormick, S.C., who will explain how the system streamlines workflow.

This marks the second straight year that ESi will hold its conference in Augusta.

"We hope that everyone in Augusta will extend a warm welcome to the hundreds of ESi customers who will be in town for the week's activities, as they dine and shop downtown," Butler said.

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