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Chief's Corner

John R. Phoennik
Chief of Police

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Jun 15

First responders show dedication and bravery

Posted on June 15, 2015 at 12:31 PM by Andrea Iglar

Our community of South Fayette Township is very fortunate to be home to four volunteer fire departments, plus the type of residents and workers who go above and beyond the normal call of duty.

On May 27, 2015, our police department received an emergency call for an apartment fire, to which three of our police officers, along with firefighters from the Fairview VFD, Cuddy VFD and neighboring Bridgeville VFD, responded.

The first firefighter was on scene within four minutes and was able to pull an occupant and a dog from the burning building. Then, despite intense smoke and heat, officers and firefighters managed to breach an adjacent apartment wall to gain entry into the burning apartment, make contact, and pull a second occupant from the apartment. Tragically, the second occupant died from his injuries. The affected responders were emotionally distraught that the second occupant did not live. As tragic as this is, they saved the life of another person and her dog. Police officers and the Assistant Fire Chief of Fairview VFD were able to comfort the individual who perished in his final moments.

These first responders should be commended for their valor, bravery, and daily service. Like first responders everywhere, our local police officers and firefighters have made a personal choice to help others. It is important to remember that when most of us are sitting down to Christmas dinner, attending a Fourth of July party with our families and friends, or going about our daily business, our police officers are working their shifts, our volunteer firefighters are answering emergency calls, and our ambulance paramedics are responding to medical emergencies and transports no matter the weather, holiday or time of day.

So the next time you see a police officer, firefighter or medic, say “thanks” or just give them a quick wave or nod. That could make their day.

On behalf of South Fayette Township, I would like to personally thank all service workers for the unselfish deeds they do every day to keep us all out of harm’s way.

--Police Chief John R. Phoennik

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