BROOKVILLE — The Pine Creek Volunteer Fire Department held a truck dedication ceremony over the weekend for the new tanker truck.
Fire Chief Don Pangallo addressed those in attendance in the fire hall before going out to the truck.
“About three years ago we saw the need was fast approaching, that we would need to replace our 2000 International Tanker. The winters and salty roads and Pennsylvania Weather had taken a toll on the truck and rust and corrosion was slowly consuming the frame of the truck,” Pangallo said.
He credited the department’s former treasurer Dick Beck with helping the department to financially prepare for the purchase. In two years, the department paid off an existing loan, and prepared to take on another for the needed purchase.
A truck committee began checking into what would be the best truck for Pine Creek and its coverage area. The tanker decided on is a 2020 Sutphen Monarch Chassis with a 500 horsepower Cummins isx12 engine, Allison automatic transmission, and seating for six firefighters.
“A truck that members can be proud of. Pride, honor, and dedication is what keeps us coming back and doing the job we love,” Pangallo said.
It carries 2,000 gallons of water with a 1,500 gallon per minute Hale Pump. It also has a 300 gallon per minute portable pump, and a 2,100 gallon portable draft tank. The truck carries 900 feet of attack lines, 1,000 feet of five inch supply hose, and 400 feet of three inch supply hose.
“Seeing the growth in our township, of commercial structures, we felt the need to increase the capabilities of the new tanker,” Pangallo said.
The committee was also thinking of the department’s future, and the continuously dropping number of volunteers in fire departments. According to Pangallo, in the early 1980s there were over 300,000 volunteer firefighters in Pennsylvania. Today, that number is under 30,000 and dropping at what he called “an alarming rate.”
“With the volunteer firefighter shortage all across the country, we have to prepare for an unknown future,” Pangallo said. “So, we chose to build a truck that could do more with less, while maximizing the features and keeping it in the shortest most maneuverable package as possible.”
Pangallo thanked the members of the fire department, as well as Pinecreek and Rose townships, and all their supporters who “make it possible for us to continue to offer this service to our residents, neighbors, travelers, and visitors to our area”
He ended by dedicating the truck in the name of all the past, present, and future members of the Pinecreek Volunteer Fire Department.
BROOKVILLE — The Jefferson County Commissioners announced William Becthel as the new Veteran’s Affairs director during the meeting Tuesday.
“We’ve worked hard to come up with the veteran’s position that was vacant here. We have a veteran’s team… that have interviewed some really good candidates, and we have filled the position,” Herb Bullers said.
The veteran’s team was made up of Herb McConnell, Bob Anthony, Bill Littlefield, Scott Miller, Jack Matson, Jeff Pisarcik, and Herb Bullers.
Becthel will start next Monday with Dave Reitz, who has filled in as the interim Veteran’s Affairs Director. He will be formally introduced at the next commissioners meeting on Aug. 11.
Tracy Zents, director of the Jefferson County Department of Emergency Servcies, provided an update on the COVID-19 cases in Jefferson County. Zents said that according to the Department of Health, of the 51 cases the county had on Tuesday, 22 of those have recovered, and 29 of them are still active cases.
Eight of the 51 cases are also probable, which means they are indicative of those who have the antibodies, and not necessarily an active infection.
As a positive, Zents said the PCR tests done with active infections are down from 2.4 percent to 1.9 percent.
“While that’s down, we still want everybody to be very cautious, because the virus is still out there, and it is still spreading.
The department has filled 103 requests for resources, and are continuing to secure PPE. He said the county is continuing to prepare for an increase in active cases or a second wave.
He said the department has gotten a lot of calls and questions about different groups and events going on. While he shares the same concerns as those calling, he said they have to reach out to the Department of Health to provide guidance on the mitigation measures being put out.
“We’re not going to try to interpret what they’re saying, because we may be wrong in that information,” Zents said.
He recommended people reaching out to the DOH through www.health.pa.gov or calling 1-877-724-3258. Zents also recommended calling the PA 211 hotline or go to www.pa211nw.org to find social services for those struggling through this time either emotionally or financially.
“Again, we want everybody to practice good mitigation measures… use common sense when around groups of people,” Zents said. “And probably the biggest thing, we want people to be respectful to each other and their concerns. There’s no need to degrade anyone based on their own situation, because we don’t know what everyone’s situation is.”
HARRISBURG — The Pennsylvania Department of Health reported Tuesday an increase of 839 positive cases of COVID-19, bringing the total to 108,264 cases statewide. Of these, 3,053 are probable cases of the coronavirus statewide.
The number of tests administered within the last seven days between July 21 and July 27 is 162,937 with 6,526 positive cases.
Approximately 75 percent of cases are presumed to be recovered at this time and 1,059,776 negative tests have been issued.
Clearfield County reported four new cases for 116; 98 confirmed and 22 probable. Elk County reported one new case for 40 cases; 31 confirmed and nine probable. Jefferson County reported four new cases for 55 cases; 45 confirmed and 10 probable.
Elk County has reported two deaths, and Jefferson County has reported one death in the Courier Express’ circulation area, which includes Clearfield County.
To date, the number of negative cases reported in Clearfield County is at 3,614, in Elk County, 1,685, and in Jefferson County, 1,999, according to the Department of Health.
There were 24 new deaths reported statewide Tuesday, bringing the total number of deaths to 7,146 as a result of COVID-19.
There are 641 patients who have had a positive serology test and either COVID-19 symptoms or a high-risk exposure, which are considered probable cases and not confirmed cases. There are 1,059,776 patients who have tested negative to date.
In the Courier Express region, the number of county cases are listed below:
— Clarion County remained the same with 72 reported cases and two deaths.
— Indiana County reported 11 new cases for 234 cases, and six deaths.
— Centre County reported eight new cases for 365 reported cases, and one new death for 10 deaths.
— Cameron County remained the same with five total reported cases.
— Forest County reported two new cases for nine reported cases.
— Potter County remained the same with 20 cases to date.
— McKean County remained the same with 26 total cases and one death related to COVID-19.
In nursing and personal care homes, there are 19,225 resident cases of COVID-19, and 3,868 cases among employees, for a total of 23,093 at 835 distinct facilities in 61 counties. There have been 4,857 deaths reported from nursing home populations to date.
According to the DOH, Jefferson County reported a new facility and patient case for two facilities with cases; five residents and four employees. Clearfield County has four facilities with cases; two residents, and three employees. Elk County has one facility with cases; one resident and seven employees. No deaths have been reported from any of these facilities, the DOH reported.