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Commissioners recognize Seneca County EMS during National EMS Week

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Tiffin, Ohio — The Seneca County Board of Commissioners approved a proclamation Thursday morning recognizing May 15-21 as National EMS Week.

Seneca County Emergency Services Administrator Dani Gebauer and Seneca County EMS Echo Unit Paramedic Darrin Mack were in attendance to accept the proclamation.

The commissioners thanked the two and all EMS personnel across the county, including volunteers and paid personnel, for their hard work providing important and life-saving pre-hospital care. The proclamation states that the commissioners believe that “emergency medical services are vital and essential.”

Gebauer thanked the commissioners for their work in solidifying the EMS system’s future. She said it is fitting that this year’s EMS Week theme is “Rise to the Challenge.”

“I do have to say, every day our volunteers rise to that challenge … paid personnel does it every day,” Gebauer said. “Now, with the talks the elected officials (are having), you are also a part of rising to the challenge because you guys are helping us move into the right direction.”

Gebauer thanked the commissioners and elected officials across the county for prioritizing EMS. “I have to say thank you to you guys as well for taking us to the next level for this,” she said. Gebauer also thanked volunteers for all the work they do and have done since Seneca County EMS was founded in 1978.

“Volunteers, we can’t do it without them,” she said.” Just like my paid people, they’ve been bending over helping me out. Every day, they rise to the challenge. I’m thankful for the group we have.” After the proclamation was presented to Gebauer and Mack, the commissioners agreed to begin working on a letter that is to be sent to legislators, including Ohio House and Senate leaders, to advocate for state legislation that would deem third-service emergency medical services as “essential.”

According to information from the Ohio EMS Chiefs Association, just 11 states consider third service EMS an “essential service.”

The commissioners discussed how state legislation classifying the service as essential may come at no additional cost to the state, but it could be helpful by opening more federal and state grant opportunities for third-service EMS departments like Seneca County and Sandusky County EMS.

In other action, Tiffin-Seneca Economic Development Corp. Development Manager Adam Gillmor updated the commissioners on a few topics.

Gillmor said the search for former President and CEO David Zak’s replacement is ongoing. Zak’s final day was last week and the office closed applications for the position on Monday.

Commissioner Mike Kerschner saluted the TSEP team for keeping things steady during the search. Gillmor also mentioned the Seneca County Rural Broadband project, saying there was a meeting held Thursday morning. The project seeks to improve access to high-speed internet for all county residents, especially those in rural areas.

Right now, project leaders are gathering information via a survey process that has had nearly 900 responses so far. Gillmor encouraged all county residents to fill out the survey online here.

During new business, the commissioners approved:

  • A supplemental appropriation of $36,350 to the Justice Reinvestment and Incentive Grant Fund for contract services.
  • A $97,924.66 supplemental appropriation to the Probation Funding Grant for contract services.
  • A $68,075 supplemental appropriation to the Targeted Community Alternatives to Prison Grant Fund for contract services.
  • A $4,000 supplemental appropriation to the General Fund for supplies.
  • A $100,000 supplemental appropriation to the General Fund to the Transfers Out Line.

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