Change Your Clocks, Change Your Batteries This Weekend

Harrisburg, PA – Acting State Fire Commissioner Bruce Trego reminds citizens to change their clocks, and then change the batteries in their smoke alarms and carbon monoxide detectors when time “springs forward” this weekend.

“The batteries should be changed periodically and a good way to remember is that is to do it when you change your clocks,” said Trego. “Practicing your home fire escape plan with your family all in the same weekend is a great way to keep your loved ones safe.”

Trego said worn or missing batteries are the most common cause of a smoke alarm or carbon monoxide detector malfunction. If functioning, smoke alarms cut the risk of dying in a home fire in half.

Often called “the silent killer,” carbon monoxide is an odorless, colorless, tasteless gas that can incapacitate victims before they’re aware they’ve been exposed. Sources include wood-burning fireplaces and stoves, gas-fired fireplaces, appliances, grills and generators, and motor vehicles.

Symptoms of carbon monoxide poisoning are often mistaken for the flu and include nausea, headaches, dizziness, disorientation and fatigue.

Newer models of smoke alarms have long-lasting batteries that do not need to be replaced, but thousands of homeowners still use models that use standard batteries that must be replaced regularly.

No matter what type of smoke alarms are used in a home, they should be tested monthly – including hard-wired units connected to the home’s electrical system. Homeowners should consider buying new alarms to replace units that are more than ten years old.

For more information about the fire service in Pennsylvania, go to, like the OSFC page at or call 1-800-670-3473.

MEDIA CONTACTS:  Ruth A. Miller:

Heroes Day Event To Honor Public Safety Personnel

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

According to Lackawanna County Commissioners Patrick M. O’Malley, Jerry Notarianni and Laureen A. Cummings, this year’s seventh annual Heroes Day is set for Saturday, September 16, from   11 am to 2 pm at the County’s 911 Center, Valley View Drive, Jessup.

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

The day will include free refreshments, giveaways, tours of the 911 Center, children’s activities, face painting and caricatures.  The event is being sponsored by the Commissioners, District Attorney’s Office, the Department of Emergency Services, the Lackawanna-Susquehanna Office of Drug & Alcohol Programs, and Conxx/SkyPacket Networks.

Jeff Thomas, a prevention specialist in the Lackawanna/Susquehanna Office of Drug & Alcohol Programs, will discuss the opioid epidemic at 12:30 PM in the center’s media room.

Canines and the Mounted Unit from the County’s Sheriff’s Department and the public safety units of area municipalities will be at the event.

Valuable information on County services and the programs offered by area community and social agencies will also be available.

Several antique emergency vehicles and a Rommel Harley-Davidson Jumpstart display will also be a part of the program.  Long pants are required for the Harley-Davidson exhibit.

The following organizations, along with their equipment, will be in attendance:  Tanker 15 from Elmhurst/Roaring Brook, Command 93 from Old Forge, the Smoke House from Wilson Fire Company, Commonwealth Health Ambulance, Pennsylvania Ambulance, Thornhurst Dive & Rescue, Chinchilla Foam Trailer, Taylor Ladder 95, Mayfield Police Department, and Jessup Rescue 31.

The County’s DARE Program and SWAT Team will be on site along with the 911 Mobile Command Post and Emergency Management Agency vehicles, COLTS, the Bookmobile, and the following County Departments: District Attorney’s Office, Voter Registration, Arts & Culture, Parks & Recreation, Veterans Affairs, Community Relations, Drug & Alcohol Office, Highway Safety Program, the IT Department’s Wireless initiative, Environmental Sustainability Office, Area Agency on Aging, and the Coroner’s Office.

The Pennsylvania Army National Guard, Lackawanna Heritage Valley Authority, Pennsylvania State Police, Scranton Police Department, Lackawanna County Decon team, and Civil Air Patrol will also be at the event.

The Penn State Extension will have displays featuring the Master Gardeners and 4-H programs along with its mini golf course.

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


Voices Of Joe Roundtable

On Wednesday, July 19, the Voices of JOE political advocacy group, which focuses on safety for corrections workers, will be holding a discussion at the Lackawanna County 911 Center, Valley View Drive, Jessup, beginning at 7 PM,  hosted by Lackawanna County Commissioner Patrick M. O’Malley,

The roundtable, facilitated by officers of Voices of JOE, will have in be attendance Federal, State and County legislative staff members, corrections officers, administrators,  union personnel, and family members.  It will focus on pending legislation in both the U.S. House and Senate along with new legislation in State Government. Issues such as staffing augmentation and  “man down” radios will be reviewed along with the hiring freeze and proposed budget cuts for the State’s Bureau of Prisons.

The impact of the outcome of the Eric Williams murder trial on the corrections community will also be discussed.

There will be limited seating for the public who those wishes to attend as observers.