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.


Sponsorships For Kato

Lackawanna County Sheriff John Szymanski, inside left, presents sponsorship checks totaling $12,000 to the Commissioners, covering the purchase of and training for Kato, the bomb detection canine. Kato, a certified bomb and patrol dog, joined the force this August and is utilized to detect explosives, handle inspection work and apprehend felons. His first assignment was at The Steamtown Marathon. He is also the only bomb dog in Northeastern Pennsylvania. Kato’s major sponsors were The Pennsylvania Sheriffs’ Association, the Lackawanna County Sheriff’s Office and Scranton UNICO Foundation. Several other organizations also provided funding.

L-r, Commissioner Jim Wansacz, Sheriff Szymanski, Deputy Ryan DeLuccie, Kato’s handler; Kato and Commissioner Corey D. O’Brien.

The Lackawanna County Sheriff’s Department Welcomes A New Officer

The Lackawanna County Sheriff’s Department made a very important addition to its staff to assist the other deputies in handling advanced public safety incidents.
The new “officer” is Kato, a certified bomb and patrol dog.

Born in the Czech Republic, the Sheriff’s Department obtained Kato from Shallow Creek Kennels in Sharpsville, Pennsylvania. His breed is generally that of a herding dog from Holland, which is why all of his commands are spoken in Dutch.

Deputy Ryan DeLuccie is Kato’s canine handler. He also had to incur six weeks of intense training. The one and a half year old Kato is a dual purpose dog trained to detect explosives and handle patrol work. He can track individuals and is capable of apprehending suspects or felons upon Ryan’s command.

Adding a certified bomb and patrol dog to the staff has been endorsed by Lackawanna County Commissioners Corey D. O’Brien, Jim Wansacz and Patrick M. O’Malley.
“Kato will be a great asset not only to our community, but our schools as well. We would like to thank the area districts for their commitment to various fundraising events to assist in the procurement of Kato,” explained Commissioner Corey D. O’Brien. “A combination of the Commissioners’ endorsement, support from area schools and resources in the Sheriff’s budget allowed for this important acquisition to happen.”

“With all of the recent bomb threats in Lackawanna County, Deputy DeLuccie and Kato will make an immediate impact on public safety,” said Commissioner Jim Wansacz.

“Keeping our community and schools safe and assisting with the fight on crime in Lackawanna County will always be priority one,” said Commissioner Patrick M. O’Malley. “This is another tool to do just that.”

“He is a high energy dog who loves to work and play,” stated Deputy DeLuccie. “Kato is very excited to go to work every day. He loves getting out into the community and meeting new people. He is affectionate, very good with kids and has already gotten a few hugs.”

Don’t underestimate this new deputy’s kindness with kids. Kato is truly one tough “Deputy Dog” on crime in Lackawanna County.