public safety

Firefighter Loren Hughes is Mt. Lebanon’s new Deputy Chief . Photo: Judy Macoskey

NEW DEPUTY CHIEF Firefighter Lt. Loren Hughes has been promoted to Deputy Chief of Community Outreach and Marketing. Hughes has been with the Mt. Lebanon Fire Department since January 2000. He is taking over for Deputy Chief Glenn Wallace, who retired in February, after nearly 28 years with Mt. Lebanon. Wallace served  in many roles in the department but worked the longest with administration, handling scheduling and payroll, says Fire Chief Nick Sohyda.


EMERGENCY PREP Would you know what to do if you were on a train and someone next to you fell and started bleeding profusely? What would you do if someone came into your office and started shooting? How do you know if that guy in your painting class is dangerous or just a little creepy?

Get prepared for situations we hope will never happen at a Community Safety Preparedness event, at 7 p.m. Tuesday, April 24, at the Public Safety Center, 555 Washington Road. Presented by the Mt. Lebanon Police, Medical Rescue Team South and state Rep. Dan Miller, the event is free and open to the public.

You’ll hear three presentations: Special Agent Robert Ambrosini of the Pittsburgh office of the Federal Bureau of Investigations will speak about the “Behavior Analysis of a Potential Threat.” Learn what traits to look for in an individual that could indicate if he or she could have the potential to be a danger.

Mt. Lebanon Police Cpl. Mike Smakosz and Officer Scott Kunz will speak about active shooter responses. Learn the same Alert, Lockdown, Inform, Counter, Evacuate (ALICE) program the officers teach in the community and schools.

Finally, educators from Medical Rescue will attend to teach the Stop the Bleed program, which helps save lives during critical incidents such as accidents or violence.


LOOK UP LEBO We joke that we never see the sun much in Pittsburgh, but when we do, it can cause more problems than just sunburn. Morning sun glare on Washington Road has caused several pedestrians to be injured and many more near misses. The problem seems to be worst at the intersection of Cedar Boulevard and Washington Road. The sun shines over the top of the businesses, and the parking garage and can momentarily blind drivers.

Drivers should stop if they can’t see. On sunny days in blinding spots, wear polarized sunglasses, drive  very slowly and make sure nobody is in the crosswalk. Better yet, take an alternate route in the brightest morning sun.

Pedestrians can avoid placing themselves in danger at that time by crossing Washington Road at the crosswalk in front of La Pomponnée instead of in front of the Cyclops building.



OPIOID UPDATE Medics who treat patients for opioid overdoses with naloxone always hope to take the patient to the hospital for follow-up treatment. Problem is, some patients refuse to go. Now a state law is permitting medics to leave a dose behind in case the patient needs it again.

Pennsylvania Governor Tom Wolf in January approved an initiative allowing first responders to leave behind naloxone. Following that declaration, Medical Rescue Team South Authority, which provides medical services to Mt. Lebanon, developed a protocol. Medics may leave behind one 4-milligram dose of naloxone in nasal spray form for a patient (or a family member) after the ambulance service has revived the patient using the drug and the patient has refused transport to the hospital, says MRTSA Chief Todd Pritchard.

The medicine comes with instructions on how to use it. Initially, MRTSA received 10 free doses from Allegheny County, with subsequent doses likely to come from St. Clair Hospital once those are distributed.

Pritchard said in March that the City of Pittsburgh medics already had begun the program and that many suburban departments are now rolling it out.

Gov. Wolf’s ruling was part of his January declaration of opioid abuse as a statewide disaster emergency, calling it a “looming public health crisis. … I am using every tool at my disposal to get those suffering from substance use disorders into treatment, save more lives and improve response coordination,” Wolf said.

In 1930, after years in a small facility, the fire department moved to spacious quarters in the new municipal building. The fire bays behind the truck now are windows in the Commission Chamber. In 1930, after years in a small facility, the fire department moved to spacious quarters in the new municipal building. The fire bays behind the truck now are windows in the Commission Chamber.

100 YEARS Mt. Lebanon Fire Department celebrates its centennial in 2018.  In tribute, each month, we’re taking a glimpse of local firefighting through the decades, featuring pictures and information from the municipal archives.

April 1930 Mt. Lebanon established a Department of Public Safety providing for the supervision of the fire and police departments.

May 1930 The fire department moved into quarters in the new municipal building.

March 1931 Commissioners met with the Board of Fire Insurance Underwriters, which recommended doubling the size of the department to 30 members to man the equipment and to inspect all commercial properties for fire safety.

1935 The fire department was reorganized by the township and was composed of three paid firefighters and 29 volunteers. 

May 1939 The department took ownership of an American LaFrance 1,250 gallon per minute pumper at a cost of $16,400. It was one of the first fully enclosed cab fire apparatus, allowing up to nine firefighters to ride inside the truck.