public safety

Several Mt. Lebanon firefighters are members of the South Hills Area Council of Government’s Technical Rescue Team, which was chosen Rescue Service of the Year by the Pennsylvania Department of Health’s Bureau of Emergency Services.


TOPS IN TECHNICAL RESCUE The Pennsylvania Department of Health, Bureau of Emergency Services, in cooperation with the Pennsylvania Emergency Health Services Council, has named The South Hills Area Council of Governments Technical Rescue Team as its 2015 Pennsylvania Rescue Service of the Year. The team will be honored at the Pennsylvania Fire and Emergency Services Institute banquet in Harrisburg this month.

To be eligible for the award, rescue agencies must be involved in the community; have rapid response times; cooperate with local public safety agencies; emphasize training, continuing education and professional development; and recognize the importance of medically directed rescue operations.

The 55-member TRT, with technical rescue and water rescue divisions, provides confined space, trench, structural collapse, high angle rope, machinery, tower, flood and swift-water rescue services to 22 communities in the South Hills of Pittsburgh.

“This is a pretty prestigious award for the team,” says MLFD Lt. Ed Davies, the chief of the TRT.

Other Mt. Lebanon firefighters who are on the TRT: Deputy Chief Rodger Ricciuti, Lt. Kurt Christofel, Lt. Steve Lane and Firefighters Joe Gavita, Terry Lane, Kris Siegert, John Lufburrow, Matt Kelsey and Charlie Wehrum.

For more info on the team and what it does, read this story from our archives.


NEW HIRE Patrick McCormick is doing his field training with the Mt. Lebanon Police Department after being hired in September. McCormick is a military police officer in the United States Army Reserve—305th M.P. Company, stationed in Wheeling, West Virginia. Before coming to Mt. Lebanon, McCormick worked in corporate tax preparation for Ernst & Young LLP. A Trinity High School graduate, he has degrees in business administration and accounting from Duquesne University and is a Certified Public Accountant.

special olympics The police department raised $1,400 for Special Olympics during its September cornhole tournament at its family fun day event in Bethel Park.


LEBO ALERT You may remember the days of air raid sirens and school drills. You may remember our community siren tests, which used to be the first Saturday of every month at 1 p.m., with a siren blaring from the top of the municipal building and from atop each elementary school. But thanks to new technology (and the high cost of maintaining sirens) Mt. Lebanon is phasing out its siren program.

It used to work like this: you’d hear the emergency siren and go inside and tune to the local cable emergency channel. But what if you’re not home? What if you’re in your car? The siren itself doesn’t tell you what’s going on.

Once the fire department could be called out to incidents using pagers or text messages, siren use became rare. In fact, the most recent use was several years ago when emergency officials believed a tornado was on its way. In that case, police went to local ballfields and evacuated them anyway.

So what should you do now to stay aware? Fire Chief Nick Sohyda says the best thing to do is to sign up for LeboALERT at The “safety alert” category is a good one to select for those notifications. That way, you will get a text or email on your mobile device and computer to tell you what’s going on no matter where you are. As for weather, he recommends picking your favorite severe weather app to install on your phone. Some phones already have the capability built in. On an iPhone, you can go into “notifications” and enable the government alerts, which will also give you Amber Alert information in addition to severe weather warnings.