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Commissioners hear annual update from Seneca County EMS personnel

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TIFFIN — Seneca County Emergency Services Director Ken Majors presented his annual EMS report to the commissioners Thursday morning.

Majors said 2019 was a “standard year” that included 1289 county EMS responses and 761 transports. He said the Bascom Joint Ambulance District handled about 60 percent of the department’s squad runs.

Majors said the county’s Echo Unit, which features experienced paramedics, supplements volunteer personnel who work through the joint ambulance districts. He said the unit responded to 933 calls.

“It’s the most we’ve ever responded to,” he said. “The (advanced life support) capability of the Echo, it brings the ability to render aid at a higher level.”

Majors thanked all volunteers for their service. He said sometimes the Echo Unit is on scene first, and he believes the unit is a great supplement to the many talented volunteers from across the county.

“Just as an aside, two days ago our Echo got to the scene first and actually saved a young lady’s life,” Majors said, adding that the woman was resuscitated from cardiac arrest. “The Echo has proved its value time and time again since it started in 2008. It takes a burden off the volunteers.”

Majors said several Seneca County EMS volunteers received recognition last year, including Denny Hanlon being selected by Gov. Mike DeWine’s office as healthcare worker of the year for Ohio. Hanlon and Jen Hill also received the 2019 Catherine McAuley Lifetime Achievement award from Mercy.

“We have a lot of really talented folks who volunteer, we’re very appreciative of their time because their time is very valuable,” Majors said. Majors also credited EMA Administrator John Spahr for work he has done since being brought onto the team last year. “He’s doing an excellent job,” he said.

In other business, Seneca Conservation District Team Leader Beth Diesch discussed the Apiary Inspection Program. The program kicked off in the county last year and Diesch was named the county’s apiary inspector. She gave an update on the program and was authorized by the board to be the county’s inspector once again for 2020.

According to the Ohio Department of Agriculture’s website, the Ohio Apiary Program coordinates the state and county inspection services that help to ensure a healthy beekeeping industry for the state’s more than 6,000 apiaries. Diesch said 80 individuals who maintain 300 beehives are registered through the ODA in Seneca County. She said the hives are maintained and hopes to continue improving the program. It is possible other counties work with Seneca through the project next year.

Diesch also said construction assessments will be included on property tax bills for residents who benefitted from the Wolf Creek Ditch obstruction removal project. Landowners also will receive a maintenance assessment.

Also during the meeting, County Administrator Stacy Wilson delivered positive sales tax news for the month of January. Since the sales tax information lags by two months, her report reflected data from November 2019. Wilson said sales tax revenue increased by about five percent compared to figures from the same time period in the previous year.

During new business, the commissioners approved the following appropriations:

  • Supplemental appropriations for General and non-General Fund for 2020 beginning Jan. 1 and expiring Dec. 31.
  • Appointing Commissioner Shayne Thomas to the Great Lakes Community Action Partnership for a one-year term.
  • Reappointing Greg Edinger to the Great Lakes Community Action Partnership for a one-year term.
  • Authorizing the county engineer to post bridge legal load limits on various bridges throughout the county.
  • Authorizing the 2020 Wellness extra incentive premium differentials.
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