Lackawanna County’s 911 Center To Host Basic SKYWARN Spotter Course On March 5th

The National Weather Service office in Binghamton, NY, will offer a free, basic SKYWARN (weather spotters) training class on Wednesday, March 5, from 6:30 PM to 8:30 PM at the Lackawanna County 911 Center, Jessup.

This class is for beginners or anybody that has a general interest in weather.  Previous training or equipment is not required.  The course will instruct volunteers on how to report severe weather to the National Weather Service.

The SKYWARN program is a nationwide initiative that provides real-time severe weather reports to the National Weather Service. Trained weather spotters are crucial to the National Weather Service for providing accurate, severe weather warnings which can save lives and property.

Space for the program is limited.  People can register or submit questions via email to or call (607)-729-1597, EXT 4.  Information on this class and other programs in the area are listed on or on Facebook.

The National Oceanic And Atmospheric Administration’s (NOAA) National Weather Service is the primary source of weather data, forecasts and warnings for the United States and its territories. NOAA’s National Weather Service operates the most advanced weather and flood warning and forecast system in the world.  Its mission is to understand and predict changes in the Earth’s environment and to conserve and manage coastal and marine resources.

Heroes Day Celebration

Everyday public safety personnel provide assistance to those in need, transport people to the hospital, rescue individuals from a fire or natural disaster, or provide a sense of safety to families or young children.

Police officers, firefighters, military personnel, sheriffs, EMS workers, 911 dispatchers and other “blue” officials are truly “everyday heroes” in Lackawanna County and nationwide.

To recognize their work and sacrifices and to acquaint area residents with the public safety equipment and services available to them, the Lackawanna County Commissioners are again sponsoring the third annual “Heroes Day” on Saturday, October 5, from 10 am to 2 pm at the 911 Center, Valley View Drive, Jessup.

According to Commissioners Corey D. O’Brien, Jim Wansacz and Patrick M. O’Malley, this tribute to public safety and military personnel will have something for everyone to see, enjoy and learn.

Safety, disaster and SWAT equipment from throughout the County will be on display along with informational booths for residents to pick-up information that they can utilize when the need arises.

The day will include free refreshments, entertainment, giveaways, prize drawings, tours of the 911 Center, and children’s activities.

Horses and two canines from the County’s Sheriff’s Department and the public safety units of area municipalities will be on display. Valuable information on County services and the programs offered by area community and social agencies will also be available.

Several antique emergency vehicles will also be a part of the program.

The following organizations, along with their equipment, will be in attendance: Clarks Summit, Blakely, Old Forge, Chinchilla’s foam trailer, Moscow, Jermyn, Dickson City, the Peckville Smoke House, Penn DOT road equipment, the County’s De-Con Team, and the County’s Urban Search & Rescue Team.

The County’s DARE Program and SWAT Team will be on site along with the Pennsylvania State Police, 911 Mobile Command Post, COLTS, Coordinated Transportation, Bookmobile, and other County Departments such as: Corner’s Office, Voter Registration, Veterans Affairs, Drug & Alcohol Office, Highway Safety Program, IT Department, Environmental Sustainability Office, and Area Agency on Aging.

The Visitors Bureau, Lackawanna Heritage Valley Authority, Wills For Heroes, Operation Life Saver, EMS, and the U.S. Naval Sea Cadet Corps will also be displaying at the event.

The Penn State Extension will have displays featuring the Master Gardeners, 4-H, Dining With Diabetes, and Nutrition.

For further information, contact the Gerard Hetman, the County’s Community Relations Coordinator, at 570-963-6743, ext. 1872.

911 Staff Attends School Safety Seminar

In the wake of the recent violent incidents on elementary, high school and college campuses, preparedness on how to defuse, negotiate or handle these situations is vital for the overall safety of a community and the parties involved in crisis events.

Three key officials from the Lackawanna County 911 Center attended a May seminar at Penn State University, main campus, entitled “School Safety,” to learn the latest methods for handling difficult community incidents.

David Hahn, Lackawanna County’s Director of Emergency Services; Rich Barbolish, the County’s Emergency Management Services Deputy Director; and Al Kearney, 911 Staff Services Manager, participated in the program that featured speakers from the United States Homeland Security Department, FBI, Pennsylvania State Police, the State’s Homeland Security Office, Penn State’s Public Safety Department, the Pennsylvania Emergency Management Agency, and several clinical, psychological and behavioral specialists.

The topics covered were: school safety, hazard planning tool kit, psychology of a violent offender, response to an active shooter, risk and vulnerability assessment, pre-incident collaboration and cooperation, and suspicious activity reporting.  Actual examples of incidents were also reviewed at the seminar.