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EMS, Kurt

Every minute, every second, counts in emergency medical care. That’s true, of course, in emergency rooms, but is perhaps even more critical at crash scenes and elsewhere.
Delays can cause prolonged suffering for the injured, and can result in death.
That’s why the community will be better served with a second Hanco location in Findlay.
Hanco, which is owned by Blanchard Valley Health System, operates out of a Sixth Street location, and has a backup unit at the Liberty Township Fire Department building on Hancock County 140.
That unit can provide medical response in Liberty Township west of Findlay, as well as in the city and surrounding communities. But it’s not staffed around the clock like the Sixth Street location and like the new site on Croy Drive will be when it opens this spring.
The eastside location is important for several reasons.
First, it puts EMS on the north side of the Blanchard River. When it floods, the city can be divided, and emergency response time can be significantly increased.
But even if the city wasn’t flood-prone, it’s a smart move.
The east side of Findlay, particularly Tiffin Avenue, is one of the city’s busiest and most accident-prone areas. While the Fire Department responds to accidents, and often gets there first, having fully-equipped EMS units closer will improve service.
The location will also be good for Hanco, since much of its non-emergency business is making runs to nursing homes and elder-care centers, several of which are located on the east side.
Since becoming the sole emergency medical service provider for Findlay last spring, Hanco has met the city’s goal of having a response time of 12 minutes or less on 99.9 percent of calls. That’s commendable service.
While 100 percent may never be possible, we have to believe the average response time will continue to decrease with two fully-staffed Hanco EMS locations.
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Edward Kurt has yet to be introduced to the community, but we want to be among the first to welcome him to Findlay.
Kurt was hired this week to be the next superintendent of schools, having been selected following a four-month search for the replacement of Dean Wittwer.
Wittwer has been the school chief since 2005 and oversaw the building of the new Donnell and Glenwood middle schools and Millstream Career Center. He will turn over duties to Kurt on Aug. 1.
Kurt is now superintendent of the 1,200-student Margaretta Local Schools in Castalia, and will be taking over a district roughly five times that size in Findlay.
Kurt said he will make sure Findlay operates efficiently while still maximizing student learning and achievements. That’s a good focus considering the instability of state funding, and since his arrival comes at a time when new educational standards are being rolled out throughout the state.
Before Kurt takes over, he will work alongside Wittwer for several months. That should provide for a smooth transition. Kurt and Wittwer already know each other, having worked together on state-level committees for education.
The selection process itself was very good. The school board had wanted to name a new superintendent in December, but paused long enough to consider all candidates.
Kurt, who has served as the superintendent of Margaretta since 2002 and also has experience as an assistant principal and a dean of students, was one of the 10 original applicants. He has a master’s degree in educational administration from Ashland University and a bachelor’s degree in education from Ohio State University.
He made the first cut to five, and then the top three, even after the board considered additional candidates. Following interviews, the finalists received tours of the schools and community, met with a focus group to share information about themselves, and participated in a question-and-answer session.
In Kurt, the board found the kind of superintendent it was looking for.
Kurt and his family will attend the Feb. 24 school board meeting. Again, welcome, and good luck!

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