Public safety

The Mt. Lebanon Police Department is celebrating its centennial this year. This 1928 photo depicts a nine-man department.
Mt. Lebanon Police 100th anniversary badge

2020 is a special year for the Mt. Lebanon Police as the department celebrates its 100th anniversary. The department is planning lots of fun activities, so keep your eyes on Mt. Lebanon Magazine. We also will feature a vintage department snapshot each issue.

To start, here’s a shot of the department’s commemorative badge. Although sworn officers are the only ones who can wear them, they’ll have swag for you, too, as the year goes on. Stay tuned.

Detective Patrick O’Brien was commended for his role in capturing a serial commercial burglar.


Mt. Lebanon Police Detective Cpl. Patrick O’Brien received an honorable mention award at the 19th annual Amen Corner Law Enforcement Awards Luncheon for his role in helping to identify and catch a serial commercial burglary suspect who had committed crimes in Allegheny and Washington counties. The Mt. Lebanon Police Department worked in cooperation with departments from Castle Shannon, Bethel Park, Peters and Scott, as well as the Pennsylvania State Police and the Allegheny County District Attorney’s Office.

For the 15th consecutive year, Mt. Lebanon received the Platinum Award from the nonprofit AAA for its community traffic safety program. Our program focuses on pedestrians, drivers and cyclists and emphasizes the role each has in making our streets safe. Mt. Lebanon Magazine features a monthly Look Up Lebo tip to increase awareness.


Kitchen Nightmares

It’s happened to people … you’re cooking dinner and you get a text that begs you to respond, and before you know it, you’re having a back and forth over something and then, uh oh, what’s that smell? The risk is not of ruined dinner and a ruined sauté pan. The real risk is of a fire that could seriously hurt you and your family and claim your house in the process. Cooking fires are the No. 1 cause of fire-related property damage.

The Mt. Lebanon Fire Department has some tips for preventing and handling  kitchen fires:

• Don’t use the stove or cooktop when you are sleepy or under the influence of drugs or alcohol.

• Always stay in the kitchen when frying or boiling food. If you need to step away, to answer the door or go to the bathroom, turn off the heat until you come back. Even if it’s only for a minute.

• If you are simmering, baking or roasting food, stay in the house and use a timer. Check your food regularly.

• Keep things that can catch fire away from the stovetop. It’s not a shelf, so don’t put grocery bags or pizza boxes there. It only takes a few seconds for a fire to start.

If you have a grease fire:

• Put on an oven mitt and cover the skillet with a lid or cookie sheet. Turn off the heat and let it cool completely before handling it.

• Never try to carry a burning pot outside and never use water on a grease fire. Doing so can make it worse and cause the fire to spread.

• If the fire is in the oven, keep the door shut and turn off the heat.

When in doubt, get OUT! Call 911 from outside. And call the fire department even if you think the fire is out. They will check to ensure everything is safe.


Medical Rescue

David Teprag is Medical Rescue Team South Authority’s newest full-time emergency medical technician. Teprag graduated last year from MRTSA’s EMT class and began working at the ambulance agency in September. He completed his training in October.

Have weakness or even the slightest amount of paralysis on one side of your body? Slurring of speech, facial paralysis or headache? It could be a stroke and hesitating to call 911 is a bad decision. The longer you delay seeking treatment for yourself or someone near you, the more complicated the treatment will be. MRTSA paramedics and EMTs are trained to assess symptoms of stroke and can alert the hospital right away. That means the damage to the brain can be minimal.



We’ve heard it many times … a pedestrian hits the button on the pole at an intersection and gets angry that the light does not immediately stop traffic. Hitting the button will not stop traffic in favor of pedestrians; the action simply lets the system know that a pedestrian is waiting and as a result, it will show a walk signal when the pedestrian may cross. It does not in any way hurry the process. Think of it this way: with the hundreds of pedestrians on Washington Road each day, if the traffic stopped every time someone hit the button, Route 19 would be a parking lot.

Drivers MUST yield to pedestrians in crosswalks but they do not have to yield to pedestrians on curbs approaching crosswalks. Make your intentions known and if you’re driving, keep alert and mind the speed limit.


Storm Ready

It’s a fact of western Pennsylvania life that at least one substantial winter storm will barge in and throw its frigid weight around, knocking out the lights and the heat and making us, once more, wonder why we passed on that job offer in Savannah.

We’ve been through this before, but it’s still a good idea to go over the basics for when (not if) the mayhem begins.

Make sure you have:
Lots of flashlights. They’re much safer than candles. Extra batteries of all types, especially portable cellphone chargers and batteries for your computer modem if it runs your landline phone. Three days’ worth of food, water and medication.

Make sure you avoid:
Using a kerosene heater or a gas-powered generator inside.  Shoveling snow if you’re not healthy. Snow is heavy, and shoveling is physically taxing.  Driving during an ice storm—snow tires and four-wheel-drive will not stop your car, but the telephone pole will. And guess what is a top reason for power outages? (If you said vehicles into poles, bonus points to you.)

And remember: Always call 911 in an emergency.