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DIAL 911  FOR EMERGENCIES ONLY.  In most areas you can call 311 for city service information and non emergency calls.  In some areas you can call 211 for general information about a variety of topics.  Check to see if your area has started either 211 or 311 help lines.
This section is to archive stories that have been previously published in the FEP pages.



Pa. teenagers petition to create 'First Responders' Day'

That location was the starting point of a campaign for the U.S. Congress to proclaim a day honoring police, firefighters and EMS workers


By Mark Hofmann

GREENSBURG, Pa. - On March 23, a group of teenagers from Bible clubs at Uniontown Area, Albert Gallatin and Laurel Highlands high schools gathered at Firemen's Corner in Uniontown to begin their campaign to start "9/11 Sunday: First Responders Day," a day honoring first-responders across the country.

That location was the starting point of a campaign for the U.S. Congress to proclaim a day honoring police, firefighters and EMS workers. It would not be a legal public holiday.

"Our petition asks congress and the president to proclaim the first Sunday after Sept. 11 -- unless Sept. 11 falls on a Sunday--to be 9/11 Sunday: First Responders Day," said Peter Herman with the Laurel Highlands club.

The teens hope that the day would lead to communities holding dinners for first responders and their families and collecting money and presenting it to first responders for equipment.

"We see too many volunteer fire departments struggle with fundraisers to buy the equipment they need," said Tara Grimm, with the Laurel Highlands High School Bible Club.

They hope that churches and other places of worship would pray for and commend first responders in a service that would reflect Jesus Christ's words in John 15:13: "Greater love has no man than this, that a man would lay down his life for his friends."

People from all 50 states are being asked to download and circulate petitions from their website www.911sunday.com to begin collecting names that must be sent back to the bible clubs by Aug. 31.

"These dedicated young Christians are some of the finest students we've ever had the honor to work with," said Rev. Travis Deans, the co-director of Penn Highlands Teens For Christ. "They're not only busy at school, but in their churches as well, so they really need all of us to get behind this effort and promote it."

The website will stay updated with how many signatures come and where they are from.

Copyright 2011 Tribune Review Publishing Compan

All Rights Reserved
Reprinted from EMS1.com

Fire Extinguishers


 1.  Fires usually start small.  If a fire starts in a small container such as a trash can, you can try to use a fire extinguisher.  However, keep in mind that a fire can triple in size in just one minute.


 2.  You should only consider using a fire extinguisher if everyone in the house/building etc has been notified of the fire and 911 has been called and the fire department is on the way.  Also make sure everyone is safe from smoke.  If the room starts filling with smoke evacuate the premises immediately and wait for the fire department!!!  Also make sure the fire is not blocking your exit.  If it is , get out and stay out now matter how small the fire looks.  Remember fires can double or triple in size in just a very short amount of time.


 3.  At the time you purchase your fire extinguisher, look for one that has been tested by an independent lab, preferably Underwriters Laboratories.  They will have a UL symbol in them.  Underwriters Laboratories test all kinds of fire extinguishers as well as electrical devices for quality and safety.  Look for one that is labeled "A-B-C".  They would be labeled for most fire extinguishers that would happen in the home.


 4.  Be aware of your own physical strengths and abilities as far as determining whether you should handle a fire extinguisher.  Some models can be rather large, heavy, and difficult to handle.  If you are unsure of whether you can use one that may be on hand, just get out and stay out!!!!


 5.  When you have purchased your fire extinguisher, make sure you carefully read and understand the instructions as soon as you bring it home.  The time of an emergency is not the time to read them.


 6.Fire extinguishers should be kept in easily accessible areas.  It should not be obstructed by anything that would prevent one from getting to it in the event of a fire.


 7.  The best way to remember how to use one is the word P.A.S.S.

      - Pull the pin

      - Aim the nozzle toward the fire

      - Squeeze the handle

      - Sweep the extinguisher from side to side until it looks like

        it is out,  Even if it appears to be out, keep an eye on the

        fire's location in case it breaks out again.  If it does,

        repeat the steps as necessary.


 8.  If your exit becomes obstructed at any time get out and stay out and call 911!!


 9.  If you are not sure whether to use a fire extinguisher, DON'T.  Just get out and stay out and call 911!!


10.  If you have questions about how to use one, call your fire department’s non-emergency number.  Some fire departments offer training on how to use them.


Classes of Fire Extinguishers


A - Fire that involve ordinary items such as paper, wood, fabrics,

    plastics etc.


B - Fire involving flammable fluids like oil and gasoline.


C - Electrical equipment like power tools and appliances.


D - Combustible Metals. These types of extinguishers are usually

    found in industrial factories that work with combustible metals.


K - Combustible cooking liquids such as animal oils, vegetable oils etc.  These extinguishers are typically found in commercial kitchen facilities.



"A.B.C." extinguishers contain dry chemicals that are capable of extinguishing many type of fires.  This type is the one usually used in the home.  Keep one of these in the kitchen and garage.


The following are times when NOT to use an extinguisher.  When any of these conditions are present, get out and stay out and call 911:


   - There is a potential for the fire to obstruct your exit.

   - The fire is spreading rapidly.

   - The house/building is filling with smoke.

   - You are not sure how to use an extinguisher.

   - Your instincts simply tell you, you shouldn’t.


If any of the conditions above are present, just get out and stay out and call 911.

Winter Weather Road Safety


Right now brutally cold winter weather has hit most of the nation hard this year.  Just a few weeks ago the east coast got hit with a major blizzard that dumped one to two feet of snow or more in many areas.  We here at PublicServantsRule.com would like to offer the following winter weather road safety information.




            Flashlight with fresh batteries

            Jumper cables

            Small shovel

            Alert device such as a reflective triangle or road flares


            Cell phone (fully charged)


            Ice Scrapers

            Fully stocked and updated first aid kit

            Bottled water non-perishable food items




1.      Fully charged battery

2.      Check and refill fluids (windshield washer, brake, oil etc.

3.      Wiper blades should be replaced every six months.

4.      Check and replace all broken lights.

5.      Brakes make sure they are in working order.

6.      Tires make sure they are inflated properly.  Make sure the treads on them are not too worn.  If they are, they need to be replaced.

7.      Check the radiator for cracks and leaks.

8.      Check fan belts for cracks and wear.

9.      Make sure the defrosters and heaters are in good working order.




Leave earlier for your destination and allow for extra time.  Remember traffic moves much slower in bad weather.  Drive slower in Snow, Rain, Ice, and Sleet or as conditions warrant, do not drive like the roads are dry.  Use more caution and watch out for black ice.


Use main roads and arteries.  Use your knowledge of the area to your advantage.  Remain on roads you know the best whenever possible


Make sure you clear snow and ice from your ENTIRE car, not just the windows.  This makes visibility better for you as well as making driving safer for other drivers on the road.  If you fail to clean off your whole vehicle, snow and ice will have a chance of flying off of it and hitting other cars, making visibility dangerously difficult for other motorists.


Switch headlights to low beam to avoid glare and keep them on, even in the daytime.


Do not use cruise control in inclement weather.


Pay attention and look ahead to bridges culverts, exit and entrance ramps, and elevated highways.  They freeze faster than other stretches of road.


Reduce the speed you would normally use to drive on a good weather day.  Leave extra room between you and the car in front of you.  Ideally there should be at least three times more space between you and the next car that there would be on a good weather day.

Do not attempt to pass snow plows and sanding trucks.  The drivers have limited visibility when you are behind them.  Remember if you can’t see their mirrors, they can not see you.


Do not assume that your vehicle is capable of handling all road conditions.  Even four wheel drive and front wheel drive cars can have problems on the road in bad weather.




Back Wheels:


  1. Remove foot t from accelerator.
  2. Steer in the direction of you want the wheels to go.  If the back wheels slide left, steer left.  If they are sliding right, steer right. 
  3. If the back wheels start sliding the other direction when you recover, guide the steering wheel toward that side.  You might have to steer the back and forth a couple of times to completely regain control of your car
  4. If you have standard brakes, pump them gently
  5. If you have ABS (Anti-lock brake system), do not pump the brakes.  Apply steady pressure to them.  You will feel them pulse which is completely normal.


Front Wheels:


1.      Remove foot from accelerator and shift to neutral.  Do not try to steer immediately

2.      As the wheels skid sideways, they will slow the car and traction will resume.  When it does, steer in the direction you want to go.  Then put the transmission “drive” or release the clutch and gently step on the accelerator.




1.      Don’t spin your wheels.  It will only cause you to sink deeper.

2.      Turn wheels from side to side to push snow out of the way.

3.      Lightly depress the accelerator to ease vehicle out.

4.      Use the shovel from your suggested car kit to clear snow from the wheels and underside of car.

5.      Use sand on the path of the wheels to gain traction.

6.      Rock the vehicle.  (Consult your owner’s manual first-can damage the transmission on some cars).  Shift from drive to reverse and back again.  Use a light touch on the accelerator each time you are in gear until the vehicle starts moving again.




Sources:  AAAMidatlantic.org and Weather.com

Swimming Safety


 1.  Never swim right after a meal.  Wait at least 15-30 minutes after eating before swimming.


 2.  You should never swim near a water falls and where it is posted No Swimming.


 3.  Always use a buddy system.  Never swim alone.


 4.  Keep a cell phone at the beach, lake, river or other swimming hole when you swim so you have a means of communications to 911 in case of emergency.  That also goes for swimming pools.


 5.  If you are swimming in public places, always try to swim only where and when there is a trained life guard on duty.


 6.  Swimming is a strenuous exercise.  Take regular rest breaks and drink plenty of fluids that do not contain caffeine.


 7.  Do not consume alcohol at a swimming location.  It is a depressant.  It lowers inhibitions.  If it is consumed in large enough quantities, it could cause blackouts, drowsiness and or loss of consciousness which could lead to a drowning.


 8.  Young children should never be allowed to swim without strict and constant adult supervision.


 9.  If you have a swimming pool on your property, it should be surrounded by a fence at least four foot high and containing a self-locking gate.


10.  Use plenty of Waterproof sunscreens with an SPF of 30 or better to avoid sunburn and long term risk of skin cancer.


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