Local first responders honored

The Brown County Board of Mental Health & Addiction Services hosted an appreciation luncheon on April 13 for those on the front lines of Brown County’s Opioid Epidemic.
State Senator Joe Uecker provided a Senatorial Citation for each Fire Department, Police Department and EMS Department in the county and shared a few words of appreciation and gratitude for the first responders in attendance.
Deanna Vietze, Executive Director of the Brown County Board of Mental Health & Addiction Services also expressed her appreciation for the dedication and sacrifices the first responders make daily and encouraged them to take care of themselves.
With the message of “Bringing Help. Bringing Hope. Thank You” this event allowed local leaders to demonstrate their appreciation to all of the individuals on the front lines who are working to eradicate the scourge of opiates, and help individuals coping with addiction recover every day.
Local leaders including Judge Scott Gusweiler, Judge Joe Worley, Prosecutor Zac Corbin, Brown County Commissioner Darryl Gray, Educational Service Center Superintendent Jim Frazier, Brown County Health Commissioner Rusty Vermillion, Coalition for a Drug Free Brown County Chairperson Ralph Jennings and numerous others were in attendance to show their support and appreciation for the first responders.
Senator Rob Portman was not in attendance but a video of him recognizing Ohio’s First Responders from the Senate Floor on April 11, 2018 was shared per his request. Representative Brad Wenstrup was represented at the luncheon by Deputy District Director Alex Sharfetter.
“We recognize the trauma and the pain you face as you work to help individuals in need. The positive impact that recovery from addiction can have on individuals, families, job growth, community safety, and overall economic development cannot be overstated, Treatment Works and People Recover” Vietze told the group.
She added “This week of appreciation is the official kick off for County Hubs to Combat Opiate Addiction as called for in the last biennial budget. These hubs will help to expand and strengthen the local effort in eradicating Ohio’s opioid epidemic. As many of you know we have established a Coalition for a Drug Free Brown County and this group will serve as our county hub. We unveiled a plan for addressing the opiate epidemic in Brown County this past September and many of the goals have already been met. Our work is certainly not done but through the collaboration and partnerships established with many of you here today we are making progress. I firmly believe the relationships and partnerships within our county have strengthened and grown over the past few years and I am proud to be a part of this county. It will take all of us working together to battle this epidemic.”
Vietze thanked Southern Hills Career and Technical Center Principal Guy Hopkins and Superintendent Kevin Kratzer for this use of their facility and work setting things up, Julie Evans and her culinary arts students for the wonderful food and their professionalism in serving, The Brown County Elementary School principals, staff and students for making thank you cards that were delivered by Vietze this week to all Fire, EMS, and police departments along with a small token of appreciation, information about the Quick Response Team, Prevention Point and flash drives with videos of Thanks, Importance of Self-Care and Safety regarding handling Fentanyl, Pam McKinney and The Georgetown FFA for making 26 dozen cookies to be given to each department, CareSource, The Ohio Association of County Behavioral Health Authorities and her executive assistant Stacey Holton for all her hard work with this event.
Saving individuals and helping to open the door to recovery for those living in Brown County who need treatment services and supports is not only the right thing to do, it is the smart thing to do. Our community will be stronger for it,” concluded Vietze.