BUCYRUS — At the Feb. 24, 2021, Crawford County Board of Health meeting, the Board honored the Crawford County Emergency Management Agency (EMA) as the 2020 Public Health Partner of the Year.
The Board of Health annually reviews collaborative activities Crawford County Public Health conducted with community partners during the previous calendar year to select a Public Health Partner of the Year.
Kate Siefert, Health Commissioner, shared with the Board of Health the involvement Crawford County EMA has been during the COVID-19 pandemic.
“Fortunately, we have had many community partners offering us assistance during this pandemic and are still continuing to support us. But when the news of the pandemic first broke out in December 2019, our first collaborative efforts were to discuss what the local PPE needs of first responders may be with the EMA office,” Siefert said. “From those first phone calls, the partnership with EMA grew to include not just PPE distribution throughout the county but also mass fatality planning that involved some very dark ‘what-if scenarios,’ Incident Command collaboration, case notification with the 9-1-1 system, assistance with the Ohio National Guard testing site, communications with local first responders, acquiring vaccine allocations and supplies, assisting with vaccine clinics, and continuously asking us, ‘What can we do to help?’. From our viewpoint, we have worked with the EMA office so much during this past year, we consider them an extension of our own office and a permanent part of our team.”
Jette Cander, Crawford County EMA Director, was at the February Board of Health meeting to accept the plaque presented by Board of Health President Zach Wolfe.
“One of the most important attributes of an effective EMA office is the partnerships formed within the community,” Cander said. “Additionally, planning for worst-case scenarios, coordination of resources, and sharing communications with first responders and the public are at the heart of emergency management. Supporting the local public health efforts during the pandemic was just a matter of doing what we are trained to do and I was happy to work beside them as we all faced unprecedented events and needs.”
This is the third year of honoring a community partner for their efforts that help Crawford County Public Health fulfill its mission to educate, empower, and improve the quality of life for the Crawford County Community. Sheriff Scott Kent was recognized as the 2018 Public Health Partner of the Year and Avita Health System was the 2019 Public Health Partner of the Year.