public safety

RISE OF THE MACHINES They may not quite be as advanced as James Cameron’s cyborgs in the Terminator films, but these mannequins are no simple Resusci Annes either.

Medical Rescue Team South Authority now owns a Smart Stat Patient Simulator, a fully automated mannequin that does (mostly!) everything a human patient does…including bleed, lose and gain blood pressure, cry and get fluid in the chest.

Medical Rescue’s new Smart Stat patient simulator, purchased with the help of a grant from Columbia Gas, is a state-of-the-art training tool for advanced life support professionals. Photo by Ken Lager.
Medical Rescue’s new Smart Stat patient simulator, purchased with the help of a grant from Columbia Gas, is a state-of-the-art training tool for advanced life support professionals. Photos by Ken Lager.

The $23,500 training tool came courtesy of a $19,000 grant from Columbia Gas of Pennsylvania, and as far as MRTSA Assistant Director John Moses knows, they’re the only local ambulance company to have one.

The trainer is controlled by iPad and is full of computers and monitors loaded with feedback for the healthcare providers so they know if their intubation is helping the patient breathe or whether their catheter insertion missed the mark. The medics can insert liquids that will simulate bleeding or lung fluid (and it can be clear to save on laundry bills).

It has hinged joints and pulse points everywhere you’d normally find one.

“It’s like a patient that doesn’t get off the table,” Moses says, noting they sometimes do get a little surprised at how lifelike it is. “It’s as real as you can get.”

The mannequin will live in a refurbished storage room that will become a training lounge, where staff can go any time of day or night to train. It also will be part of organized classes for EMTs and paramedics. Their performance can be saved into the program so they will know how they are improving, to boot.

The only other place Moses has seen the simulator is on UPMC’s training trailer.

Mt. Lebanon isn’t the only town to benefit, since MRTSA also responds in Baldwin Township, Castle Shannon, Dormont, Green Tree and Whitehall.

Columbia Gas donated the money to thank South Hills residents for being patient during the considerable construction work to replace its pipelines over the last few years.


SAFETY FUN FAIR If there ever was a Lollapalooza for police departments, this would be it. The Mt. Lebanon Police Department, in cooperation with the Bethel Park Police Department and Allstate Insurance, is having a Public Safety Fun Day, Saturday, September 19, from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. on the campus of the Bethel Park High School. Rain date is September 20. (We know it’s across the border, but there’s enough fun that we can wholeheartedly endorse it.)

The day includes free activities for the whole family, plus a chance to meet your local first responders. Kids of any age can participate in the bicycle rodeo, and representatives from local bike shops will be there to inspect bikes and give maintenance and safety tips. Every child gets a free raffle ticket for a bike. Runners and walkers can get safety tips and learn about vehicle safety by checking out Children’s Hospital’s safe driving simulator. Little ones (and not so little ones) will love checking out all the public safety vehicles, including police cars, fire trucks and ambulances. The tiniest tots can play in several bounce houses. And everyone with an appetite will love the food truck roundup.

Everything is free except for the Championship Cornhole Tournament. Sixty-four teams will compete in a double-elimination bracket. Entry fee is $40 per team, with all proceeds going to the Law Enforcement Torch Run for Special Olympics. Registration starts at 9, and the tourney begins at 10. Register online in advance at The two first-place winners will receive iPad minis and custom cornhole boards. Second places winners will get Amazon Kindle Fires and a set of cornhole boards. Third places winners will get cornhole boards.


OPEN HOUSE The fire department is planning a fun Open House on October 10. The schedule is still shaping up but expect lots of free, interactive activities. Participate in cutting up a car with the jaws of life; climb on ladders; try on turnout gear, and see demos of all the equipment. You’ll also get to check out opportunities to join the volunteer corps.


MOVING UP THE LADDER Paul Petras was promoted to lieutenant effective June 18. Petras now will serve as a watch commander in the patrol unit. Lt. Petras has been with the MLPD since January 2002 and recently served as a detective in the investigative services unit before returning to patrol at the beginning of 2014.

Mogadishu Mile Memorial 5K Run and Team CrossFit Challenge. Photo by Julie O'Hara.
Mogadishu Mile Memorial 5K Run and Team CrossFit Challenge. Photo by Julie O’Hara.

5K TO BENEFIT VETERANS United States Army Rangers and Delta Force soldiers had a daunting task in 1993 during the Battle of Mogadishu—get from a helicopter crash scene to a rally point with members of the 10th Mountain Division with little ammo and no Humvees to use for cover, as originally planned. That event, the inspiration for the movie Black Hawk Down, is often the inspiration for 5K events all over the country near the event’s October 3 anniversary.

The Mt. Lebanon Fire Department, along with the Mt. Lebanon Police Department, will host the fifth annual Mogadishu Mile Memorial 5K Run and Team CrossFit Challenge, in cooperation with CrossFit Mt. Lebanon, on Friday, October 2, from 6 to 8 p.m. at the Jefferson Middle School track. Entry fee is $25 and includes a T-shirt. All proceeds benefit Steel City Vets, a new beneficiary this year. “We wanted to make sure the money went to local vets,” says Fire Chief Nick Sohyda.

There are lots of ways to participate: you can run, walk or join the CrossFit activities in teams of four. Fatigues, combat boots and weighted vests are encouraged but not required.

The race has raised approximately $2,000 in each of its years, Sohyda says. Enter at You can also register onsite on race day starting at 5 p.m.