Indian Lake, Ohio,
15:16 PM

OhioHealth Safety Manager Helps Rescue, Recovery, and Clean-Up Efforts in Wake of Tornadoes

Tornado 9

It’s been less than a week since deadly tornadoes touched down in Ohio and in many areas, the clean-up work is long from over. For one OhioHealth associate, one of those tornadoes hit close to home, and while he has his own damage to deal with, he’s focusing on others first. 
Benji Avila is the safety consultant for OhioHealth Hardin Memorial Hospital and OhioHealth Van Wert Hospital. He’s a resident of Lakeview, one of the hardest hit areas near Indian Lake in Logan County.

 For Benji, keeping others safe is a mission that extends beyond his career at OhioHealth.  When he’s not working at OhioHealth, Benji works part-time as a firefighter for the Lakeview Fire Department

On the night of Thursday March 14th when the tornadoes touched down, Benji was among the first responders who left their homes to lead and assist search and rescue efforts. 

“Even though Benji lives in the path of the storm and had his own damage to worry about, he put aside his personal duties to help his community,” said Michelle Wright, OhioHealth system manager for environment of care & safety. “We couldn’t be prouder to call Benji a co-worker and a friend. He is an example of the values we stand for here at OhioHealth.” 

“Benji is a phenomenal person, and our OhioHealth family is lucky to have him,” said Joe Powell, OhioHealth system manager, environment of care & life safety. 

According to the National Weather Service, eight tornadoes touched down in Ohio on March 14th. Three people died in the storms. The NWS confirmed the tornado in Logan County was an EF3. 

On Sunday March 17th, Ohio Governor Mike DeWine declared a state of emergency for eleven counties impacted by the tornadoes. Those include Logan, Richland, and Union counties.