public safety

FIREFIGHTERS HONORED Mt. Lebanon Fire Department honored volunteer Dave Fagan, and career firefighter Lt. Kevin Abbott with its firefighter and fire officer of the year awards.

Fagan, a volunteer since graduating from the Citizens Fire Academy in 2004, was promoted to Firefighter First Class in 2011 and has received his Firefighter II, Fire Instructor I, vehicle and machinery technician and emergency medical technician certifications. Fagan also volunteers with the South Hills Area Council of Government’s Technical Rescue Team and participates in numerous community outreach events.

In the past four years, Abbott coordinated the department’s International Fire Service Accreditation efforts, a task that involved completing and reviewing the support documentation for 240-plus performance indicators and organizing a four-day peer assessment team site visit. Abbott, who joined the department in 2000, is one of the department’s first members to receive the prestigious Fire Officer designation from the Center for Public Safety Excellence’s Commission on Professional Credentialing and is currently attending the National Fire Academy’s Executive Fire Officer Program.

Mt. Lebanon Fire Department presents the firefighter and fire officer of the year awards annually to a volunteer and a career firefighter who have demonstrated outstanding service to the department.

SCHOOL TRAFFIC CHANGES You finally got it figured out. You know exactly the route to take and the spot to stop when dropping off your high schooler. Well, forget everything. With construction beginning at the high school, traffic patterns have changed, affecting both vehicular and pedestrian traffic. High school students who drive to school are now parking at Mt. Lebanon United Lutheran Church on Washington Road. That means there will be a lot more kids crossing the street at the top of Cochran Road. Horsman Drive will be closed during construction and Stadium Drive will be open only during drop-off and pick-up times. Certain entrances will not be available. Half of all vehicular/pedestrian accidents are caused by pedestrians, so it’s important for both kids and drivers to be careful. To monitor changes, check the school’s traffic update page at

LISTEN UP A recent crash on McCully Street at North Meadowcroft Avenue involving a car and a pedestrian wearing headphones did nothing to dispute a University of Maryland study that found wearing headphones while walking is dangerous. Fortunately, neither the young man who was hit nor the car’s driver was seriously injured. The study, which was published in the journal Injury Prevention, shows that since 2004 serious injuries to pedestrians wearing headphones have more than tripled, and in 70 percent of the cases, the pedestrian died of injuries sustained in the crash. Wearing headphones reduces your ability to hear horns, sirens and approaching vehicles. If you’re a walker or jogger who can’t give up listening to your iPod, please keep the volume on low and consider using only one earbud.

SPECIAL TRAINING Police Officer Jeff Bileck is attending training at the State Police Academy to become a drug recognition expert. His skills will be called upon in traffic stops in which a driver seems impaired but doesn’t register alcohol on a blood test. Bileck will attend three weeks of classes and training to recognize the effects of different drugs such as marijuana and LSD and then must pass a 12-hour exam. Once he is certified, he can be called as an expert witness for trials or called out by other police departments. Currently, there are only three police offers certified as drug recognition experts in Allegheny County—one is a state trooper and two work for the city of Pittsburgh.