MILLERSBURG − The Holmes County Commissioners on Monday approved a resolution allowing Emergency Management Agency and building and grounds staff to drive their assigned county vehicles home so they are available to respond to incidents as needed.
Commissioner Joe Miller explained that it doesn't make sense for EMA Director Jason Troyer, a resident of Berlin, to drive from Berlin to Millersburg to get his vehicle and then respond to an emergency situation at the eastern end of the county.
"Both Emergency Management and building and grounds are on call 24 hours a day," Miller said. "We don't condone using the vehicle to go to church or shopping."
"This provides an opportunity for a board or an entity to say this is designed for someone who is on emergency call," Commissioner Dave Hall added. "This is basically a functionary part, a process of a duty that allows us as a board to say this is a critical part of the job."
Hall suggested Troyer and other people who drive county vehicles to and from work keep a copy of the resolution in the glove box of the vehicle.
EMA reports HAZMAT response in Millersburg
In other business, Troyer reported that EMA responded to a HAZMAT call over the weekend in Millersburg, where someone was digging and hit a crude oil line.
He said it was under the threshold for requiring an EPA report, and the property owner was on the site cleaning up the spill.
Troyer also reported attending a mock bus crash on the grounds of the Holmes Training Center last week.
All entities did a very good job," he said. "The bus garage, training facility, administrative staff and the Holmesville Fire Department and EMA were all in attendance.
"We identified some opportunities for growth with identification of the students," he added. "They did a really good job with that."
The EMA director reminded everyone to be aware of hypothermia as winter weather approaches.
"Understand, too, when we get snow and it's heavy, it's one of the leading causes of heart attacks," Troyer said. "We stress for elderly to not shovel heavy snow; contract that out when they can.
"Be aware of icy sidewalks and roadways," he added. "We also have increased carbon monoxide calls in the winter months. If using any type of generators or grills, they need to be used outside."
He also reminded residents to allow plows enough room to maneuver to clear the roadways.
This article originally appeared on The Daily Record: Holmes updates policy on county workers' use of public vehicles