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Agency examines emergency response procedures

December 23, 2012
Morning Journal News

LISBON - A county agency is also stepping up its emergency response plan after the Dec. 14 tragedy that left 28 people dead in Connecticut.

Bob Zehentbauer, who serves as Public Health Emergency Planning Coordinator for the county health department, said he took another look at emergency procedures in place after Adam Lanza entered an elementary school in Newtown and killed 20 children, six adults and himself after first killing his mother.

The local agency isn't the first to take another look at already existing emergency plans. Earlier this week the East Palestine School District revisited its procedure.

"The big thing is you gotta keep increasing the awareness. We have plans and they work but we're always looking to increase them," Zehentbauer said.

He added that, in general, emergency plans should be looked over on a regular basis so new hires at a company, school or agency will be just as informed as seasoned employees and the chances of someone not knowing how to respond in an emergency are lessened.

"You have to brief new employees," he said.

Health Commissioner Wes Vins said employees spent this week looking at an alternate emergency system that is independent of the phone system.

He didn't go into details about the system but said that it provides a means of response in the event that telephones are not accessible or working properly.

In other business the department's nursing director, Barbara Knee, said the board's decision to hire Jennifer Davis two months ago is paying off.

Davis was hired to serve as a full-time nurse for the bureau for children with medical handicaps (BCMH). The bureau is a program offered through the health department that provides medical assistance and services to handicapped children and children who may become handicapped without medical intervention.

Knee said the board was able to bring Davis on full-time through a reimbursement from the BCMH program through the state of Ohio. The position was formerly part-time, and only offered when someone was available.

"I'm really excited. We hired the right person for the job. Just this month alone she added 12 new families to the program," Knee said.

She added that Davis has saved families a substantial amount of money by visiting them in their homes and briefing them on the types of medication or services available to them at lower costs.

The board then approved:

- A third reading of 2013 fees for rabies exposure specimen testing, food services, swimming pools, recreational parks and real estate evaluations.

- Reducing certificates and appropriations for the Home Sewage and Cancer Levy. Fiscal Officer Cis Donahey explained the reduction is needed as a result of the phase out of personal property tax, and someone possibly not paying their property taxes. The board has also not yet received a $3,649 check from the Susan G. Komen Foundation, although it is in the mail.

-The food safety training program, fee set at $159 per individual for the Level II class. There is no fee for the Level I class.

- A resolution regarding mobile home inspections. Vins said the department will no longer perform inspections or approve licensing, but that will be done by the Mobile Parks Commission.

- Contracting with Carroll County for the Radon Grant.

- A one year contract with Chastidy Hall for car seat education and distribution. Hall will be paid $260.50 a month.

- Contracting with Medical Imaging for mammography services. Mammograms are $90 and ultrasounds are $70.

- Reappointing Columbiana County Engineer Bob Durbin to the Sewage Appeals Board for two years.

- Hosting a Competent Person Training on Jan. 25 presented by Baker Corp and paying Baker Corp the $125 fee.



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