public safety

MLFD OPEN HOUSE Get a first-hand look at the job of a Mt. Lebanon firefighter at the department’s Open House on Saturday, October 10 from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. at the Safety Center, 555 Washington Road. Fire Chief Nick Sohyda says the department will cut open a car with the “jaws of life,” give short, hands-on classes on CPR, show guests how to use a fire extinguisher, take people on tours of the fire station and let kids try their luck at hitting a target with the firehoses.

You’ll also see demonstrations of the emergency breathing equipment that the firefighters use, and watch them simulate a forced entry.

Parents can have ID cards, fingerprinting and videos done on their child for free. Food will be available too, so plan to spend some time. And hey, if you like what you see, you can get information on becoming a volunteer firefighter.


FIT FIREMAN Firefighter Steve Quatchack competed in the National Firefighter Throwdown at the Fire Rescue International conference in Atlanta. Only 100 athletes from across the country are chosen to compete in the CrossFit-style event. Quatchak finished in the top half, placing 48th out of 100.

“It was a very intimidating, awesome experience, and good motivation to train harder for next year,” he says.


CHIM-CHIMINEY Did you know the fire department gives free fireplace inspections to help residents stay safe? A firefighter will come to your home, check the condition of your fireplace and offer you advice about maintenance and any repairs you might need. Sign up before fire-building season by calling 412-343-2020.


MLPD_logoMLPD POSTS AND TWEETS Mt. Lebanon police have been using social media for years. Strike that. Police Chief Aaron Lauth has been using social media on behalf of the department for years. Until now, Lauth was the only officer who had been posting on the department’s Facebook and Twitter feeds.

But now, citing a greater need for transparency, Lauth will be training the supervising officers to use the feeds to get out more information quicker whenever possible. That doesn’t mean an officer is going to leave a crime scene in the middle of cuffing a suspect to Tweet. But it does mean that if someone is available, he will try to get info out as quickly as possible, when it is safe to do so.


NEW BLOOD Stephen Shipe, is Mt. Lebanon’s newest police officer. Shipe, 28, will begin his field training when his studies at the Allegheny County Police Academy conclude in December. Shipe served four tours in Iraq and Afghanistan with the U.S. Army’s 3rd Ranger Battalion. He completed his service with the Pennsylvania National Guard. He has two bachelor’s degrees from the University of Pittsburgh: legal services and administration of justice. He previously worked as the director of security for Universal Protection Service at Century III Mall.


MRTSA color logoMRTSA EXPERTS Medical Rescue Team South Authority is the first agency in Allegheny County to receive the new “Expert” rating from the “Prepared for Pediatrics” Pediatric Voluntary Recognition Program through the Pennsylvania Department of Health, Bureau of EMS. Just 12 agencies in the state received this highest-level rating.

To get an “expert” rating, EMS agencies must carry specialized pediatric equipment, participate in federal assessments, establish injury prevention and community outreach programs, complete additional pediatric training and provide child passenger safety programs, such as carseat checks, with technicians who are certified to do them.

MRTSA previously had earned the “master” level, but this year, the health department allowed agencies to strive for a new “expert” recognition by adding the passenger safety programs to the list of expertise the agencies must have, says Jesse Siefert, MRTSA’s deputy chief of administration.