Mt. Lebanon Police officers will serve a special role this June as Guardians of the Flame, carrying the torch that marks the start of the Special Olympics of Western Pennsylvania Summer Games on a three-mile leg through Pittsburgh.
Law enforcement from across western and central Pennsylvania will carry the flame in segments for the 2021 Be a Fan Torch Run, that extends roughly 150 miles from the North Shore, weaving its way to the summer games opening ceremonies in State College. This year marks the 40th anniversary of the Law Enforcement Torch Run, a fundraiser for the Special Olympics of Western Pennsylvania. Mt. Lebanon Police have formed their own team, along with officers from neighboring departments. Support them with a donation.
SAFE GRILLING As summer grilling gets underway and hot dogs and corn on the cob become your primary food source, remember that grilling inside an enclosed space can be dangerous. Keep your grill away from homes and structures.
Before firing up your grill at the start of the season, check the connections for leaks and make sure to keep your grill clean. Dirty grills and gas leaks are two of the primary causes of grilling fires. Open flame grilling is prohibited on balconies in apartment and high-rise buildings.
LOOK UP, LEBO Sure, it’s the season to drive around with your music on and windows down. But don’t forget to pay attention. As the weather heats up, kids and adults alike will spend more time on two wheels. When you’re driving through the community, don’t forget that you’re sharing the road with motorcycles and bicycles. So, look twice. Be prepared to stop at crosswalks and leave enough room between you and pedestrians so your fellow drivers can see that someone is crossing the street. Keep those beats at a reasonable level and go the speed limit. It’s there for a reason. Also, remember: helmets for the kids. It’s better to be safe than sorry.
FIREWORKS SAFETY Summer just began, but we’re already thinking about Independence Day. If you’re thinking about having a show of your own this year, that’s not a good idea. Sparklers on the ground should be OK, but anything that goes into the air or burns hot in a child’s hand is just asking for trouble. Legally, you’re prohibited from shooting fireworks off any closer than 150 feet from a structure. And don’t head to that open field nearby. Fireworks cannot be used on public or private property without the permission of the owner. Penalties can involve fines up to $100.
SAVE THE DATE Mt. Lebanon Police Department’s Citizens Police Academy starts in September and will run each Tuesday evening for 10 weeks. For more information, contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
GET INVOLVED Get the kiddos ready. Public Safety Camp is planning a big return this year. A collaboration between the Mt. Lebanon police, fire and recreation departments and Medical Rescue Team South Authority, the weeklong camp is geared towards kids ages 9-12 and scheduled for August 9 to 13 from 9 a.m. to noon.
Each day kids will participate in activities including a Bicycle Rodeo to learn about bike safety, a mock DUI crash scene with police, fire and EMS response and arrest, a field trip to the Allegheny County Airport ARFF training facility to learn how the Airport Fire Department operates and trains (if available) and other activities. Registration for the camp will begin in early summer. Check the municipal website, www.mtlebanon.org, for updates.
STORMS AHEAD As we head into summer storm season, remember: Do not drive through floodwaters. Even if you think the water is not that deep, that might not be the case. You can’t always see how deep a flooded area is and your vehicle could get swept away. Even when walking, avoid flooded waters.
Remember the motto: Turn around, don’t drown.
Also, do not drive around roadblocks. They’re there for a reason and it’s the law. The Pennsylvania Vehicle Code carries a fine of up to $250. If the violation results in the need for emergency services, the fine will increase and may also include restitution for the response of police, fire and EMS resulting from the offense.
Treat any downed wire like it’s live. Do not touch.