UP: All Hancock County firefighters, paid and volunteer, need regular training and shouldn’t have to travel far to get it. The closest training sites are in Lima and Rossford, which means there’s additional time and expense involved. That’s why Findlay Fire Chief Josh Eberle’s idea to expand training facilities on city-owned property, where Fire Station 4 is located, seems to make good sense. The approach Eberle is taking to sell the idea is also a good one. Instead of asking for money from the get-go, he’s pitching the idea and taking letters of support from those who are receptive. Meanwhile, a design committee already has been put together and is getting the best ideas from not only city and county firefighters, but corporations, too. One of the proposed buildings would allow for various simulated situations for fire training, the other for rescue training and technical situations. The best part of the proposal? The buildings could be used by both city and county departments and funded by public and private entities. Certainly, Eberle should pursue all funding options, but his presentation to the county commissioners this week suggests he has done his homework. He should push forward with a plan that could, if completed, bring training closer to home for firefighters and, in turn, protect us all better.

UP: Throughout this month the White House will host more than 100 open houses and many receptions for the Christmas holiday. More than 30,000 visitors will walk the halls during public tours. Findlay Mayor Lydia Mihalik didn’t have to wait until December, however. The mayor received an invitation for this past Tuesday’s Christmas party gathering at the White House and attended with husband Drew. Mihalik likely made the guest list due to being on the board of directors of the Ohio Mayors Alliance and the advisory board of the U.S. Conference of Mayors, where she is also chair of the Children, Health and Human Services committee. Mihalik has been at the White House several times before, including earlier this year to take part in a discussion on infrastructure issues. It’s good for northwestern Ohio to have a local representative who knows her way around D.C.

UP: Statistics released this week show last weekend’s Thanksgiving holiday travel season was the safest in Ohio in 28 years. We’ll count that as a blessing. During the five-day holiday reporting period (from 12 a.m. Nov. 21 until 11:59 p.m. Nov. 25) six people were killed in six crashes. The six fatalities tie a record set in 1991 for the safest Thanksgiving holiday weekend. In 2015 and 2016 there were nine fatalities, while in 1992, 1996, 1997 and 2001 there were 10. The goal, of course, should always be zero traffic deaths. For now, let’s hope the downward trend continues.

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