Council members receive up-close look at new Elk Run fire truck

PUNXSUTAWNEY — Prior to Tuesday’s Public Safety Committee meeting, members of Punxsutawney Borough Council were given a tour of the Elk Run Volunteer Fire Company’s new fire engine that was delivered last week.

The bright yellow and white engine was delivered last Thursday from the Ferrara Fire Apparatus Company in Louisiana, and has already been tested.

Firefighters have also received training sessions on the new apparatus.

Elk Run Chief Bryan Smith, along with other members of the fire company, gave the tour to council members, who voted to grant a loan through the economic loan funds to pay for the new engine.

Committee member Roger Steele said the person who drew up the specs for the new engine put in time and effort and should be commended for a job well done.

He said he liked how the ladders are stored inside, and that the truck has an air tank on the passenger side in the front of the cab.

Borough Manager Ben White said members of the fire department spent a lot of time drawing up the specs.

Public Safety Chairman Mike Porada asked what other town in this area that has a fire department that is capable of taking care of its own fires, citing the department’s tankers, 100-foot aerial piece, rescue equipment and a boat.

He said there’s no other town nearby that has the amount of equipment that the Punxsy Fire Department has.

Steele said that Punxsy is blessed with people who are able to run the equipment, especially when they go out on their own time with Scott Anthony, owner of Fox’s Pizza Den, and raise money by selling pizza certificates.

Porada said he thanks citizens for supporting the fire department, just as they did last Saturday.

In other committee business:

• Council President Susan Glessner asked if White had received any complaints regarding the new Torrence, Findley and Pine Streets traffic light control system.

White said he had not, and that vehicles are no longer permitted to turn right on red either on Pine or Torrence Streets.

Whenever the light turns green for Torrence, motorists are permitted to turn either left or right onto Findley Street and onto Pine Street, if need be.

Police Chief Tom Fedigan said he received a complaint that the “No Turn on Red” sign facing Pine Street is partially blocked by utility cables, thus making it difficult to see.

White said the important thing is the signage is there, as far as the legalities are concerned, and perhaps PennDOT could move some of the cables.

• Fedigan said the local police department has once again been nominated for the AAA Traffic Safety Award, which it has won for the last three years.

“I want to thank all of the officers for their hard work with speed enforcement and other safety issues,” he said. “I especially want to thank (Officer) Ryan Miller for the packet that he put together for this award.”

Fedigan also thanked his officers for the long hours following a recent shooting on Cranberry Alley.

“Thanks to officers for the long hours put in on this investigation,” he said, and that thanks to officers’ hard work and with the assistance of Punxsutawney-based Pennsylvania State Police, they were able to identify and arrest the alleged shooter.

• Fedigan said the Police Department Civil Service examination is continuing, as is the Civil Service process of conducting background investigations on candidates.

The entire process should be complete in time for the November council meeting, Fedigan said.