public safety

NEW ON THE STREET The Fire Department has a new truck—a Ford F250 Superduty, to help haul the trench rescue trailer and bring back dirty equipment from fire and rescue scenes. The Volunteer Firefighters Relief Association paid for the truck, which cost about $52,000, outfitted with equipment and required lights. The truck replaces one purchased in 1997.


ALSO NEW ON THE STREET Ty Kegarise, a captain in the Pennsylvania Army National Guard who served in Afghanistan, is the police department’s newest officer. He is headed to the Allegheny County Police Academy this month.

Officer of year
Officer of the Year Patrick O’Brien

TOP COP Officer Patrick O’Brien, a police officer here since 2009, has been named Mt. Lebanon Police Department’s Officer of the Year.

The award is given to the patrolman, corporal or lieutenant who has demonstrated a commitment to excellence, shows outstanding work performance, initiative, leadership, effective personal relations and displays a positive image of the department both on and off duty.

“O’Brien is always among the department leaders in misdemeanor and felony arrests, as well as the number of investigations and reports,” McDonough says. “His investigative persistence, outstanding work ethic, the soundness of his tactics and his compassionate interactions with crime victims have combined to earn him the highest respect of his fellow officers, his supervisors, and most importantly, the citizens he serves.”

O’Brien is one of two new members of the South Hills Area Council of Governments (SHACOG) Critical Incident Response Team (CIRT); he will serve as a CIRT negotiator. Shelby Ziskind, an officer since 2011, also has joined the CIRT team as the newest tactical unit member.

To become a CIRT member, officers must pass a test including simulating real-life scenarios, a written test, interviews and tactical exercises.
Nine of the CIRT’s 33 members are Mt. Lebanon officers, including its commander, Corporal Paul Petras. The team trains together twice a month and also participates in emergency callouts, such as hostage situations.
Mt. Lebanon Police Chief Coleman McDonough thanked Corporal Dan Hyslop, who just completed his time as a CIRT negotiator.

Anna Daniels
Anna Daniels

SCHOLARSHIP WINNER Anna Daniels of Briarwood Avenue will go to Westminster College this fall with a $1,000 scholarship in hand. Anna won the Fire Service category of the scholarship competition from the Pennsylvania Burglar and Fire Alarm Association, open to graduating high school seniors who are children of public safety employees.
Her essay recounts her experiences as the daughter of Lt. Sean Daniels, a Mt. Lebanon firefighter and the school district’s fire safety officer.
“My dad’s fire safety instruction was put into practice when there was a fire at the home of a student,” Anna wrote. “The young boy knew to get his family out of the apartment and pull the fire alarm. My dad was not on duty for that fire call, but he was still a lifesaving hero.” Read the rest of her essay here.


Fire Department photo by George Mendel