News Eagle - Hawley, PA
  • Emergency response, 911 ordinance discussed

  • At the Sept. 16th Lackawaxen Township meeting, township resident Kelly Nagee said it took Lackawaxen EMS nearly 30 minutes to respond to her call, when her son was blue and non-responsive in August. But, the Captain of Lackawaxen EMS, AJ Manzione provided documents to the board of supervisors at the Oct. 21st meeting which he...
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  • At the Sept. 16th Lackawaxen Township meeting, township resident Kelly Nagee said it took Lackawaxen EMS nearly 30 minutes to respond to her call, when her son was blue and non-responsive in August. But, the Captain of Lackawaxen EMS, AJ Manzione provided documents to the board of supervisors at the Oct. 21st meeting which he said proved that it only took EMS 14 minutes to respond and 22 minutes for the ambulance. Manzione said he just wanted the correct time to be noted.
    President of the Fire Commission, John Kerkowski reported the results of the 911 ordinances #2013-96. He said a larger part of the ordinance update was relative to planned communities, but there was a need for a proper definition of what, “reflective,” means in regards to reflective paint.
    Also, in the ordinance, he said there were concerns about an exclusion for cluster homes. In Woodloch however, there are both cluster and non-cluster and so he explained that part of the community will pass and the other part of the community will have to come into compliance. That, he said, “begs the questions of why cluster homes would get an exception anyway.”
    The last sentence of the ordinance, he said, exempts an entire category of homes, that the fire commission recommends should be removed. If the category is not removed, Kerkowski said there needs to be something to address the issue because signage is a problem. He explained that there are some signs in Woodloch that are over 10 years old, while other signs are missing. The issue with the signs, he said, should be the community's responsibility to, “demonstrate how its complying with the intent, if not the letter of the ordnance.” The ordinance, he said is, “essentially the life safety document,” that helps fire and ambulances to find specific residences. And so, if some residents aren't in compliance with the ordinance, he said that the particular community should show what they can do to address the issues.
    Aside from working with the emergency service providers, Kerkowski said there should be coordination that includes the fire commission because the organization represents several emergency service organizations within the township.
    Township Solicitor Tony Waldron said in regards to the clusters of homes, there was an issue that signs along the road would reflect a few units at one place and so it, “seemed to be redundant in terms of the signage,” that would have been required and or even visible. As for the contrasting of colors, Waldron said it has not been limited to one or two colors. More specifically, looking at red and white or black and white as long as the letters are clear from the background. Part of the issue, he said, was that some communities didn't want colors like green or blue. The point, he added, is that the letters need to stand out.
    Page 2 of 3 - With regards to consultation, Waldron questioned if fire companies that respond have the most say because the different companies may look at the issues about signage differently. Kerkowski replied that because the fire commission is composed of several companies, there is internal coordination since changes were made to the ordnance.
    A member of the public asked the supervisors if they have driven through Woodloch Springs to see the issues that the ordinance was meant to address and the board said yes, some agreeing that the visibility of signs is difficult. As a result of the uncertainly, Supervisor Brian Stuart suggested that, “we kick it around for a little bit,” and try to make it to the fire commission's November or December meeting.
    If EMS or the fire department was unable to find a home at night, due to signage issues, from the Central Volunteer Fire Department, Fred Gelderman asked the board what the liability would be for the EMS or fire department if something were to happen to the person who needed help. Waldron said there wouldn't be a liability because an effort was made. In regards to homeowners insurance, if the department couldn't respond in a timely manner, Gelderman asked if there would be any liability on the community. Waldron acknowledged that he is not an insurance expert, but he did say, “duty of care does not exist there.” He explained that property owners decide whether they want to be found or not. In Woodloch, however, Gelderman said individual property owners don't have the, “latitude to put up their own signage.” Those residents, Waldron said, should possibly get involved in the community then because he believes there is a way for them to have some say.
    ••• Other business:
    The supervisors approved the, “MMO,” which Supervisor Bob Cocchi explained is the minimum municipal funding obligation for 2013. Stuart said the MMO authorizes an allocation of funds into the uniform pension plan for 2014.
    The board of supervisors approved a lot consolidation in Masthope, that included additional acreage into the agricultural security area (ASA).
    A lot consolidation in Fawn Lake was approved, that included two lots being combined to form one parcel.
    Waldron reported an agreement with Blue Ridge Cable has been made. After some discussion at the township's July meeting, he said there were some changes relative to late payments and other obligations. But, he said there are still a few things that need clarification.
    In regards to a cleanup in Woodloch Springs about a house that isn't in a good condition, Waldron said he has attempted to contact the owner, but has been unsuccessful, so he filed a conjunction and is now waiting on results.
    Stuart approved a payment of a deductible to the EMS insurance companies for the defense of an accident that was successful for the township, he said because it was addressed in the US District Court of the Middle District of Pennsylvania.
    Page 3 of 3 - Under old matters, Mike Mancino's horse crossing for Vanderbeek Farm on Route 590 was approved.
    Also, back in July township resident, Marge Wassmer first complained to the board about large pieces of tree trunks that have been on the side of Route 590, she said, since PennDOT cut the trees down. To date, she said they are still on the side of the road, with a few having disappeared. The board didn't give an answer as to what to expect of the tree trunks.
    The meeting concluded by the board going into executive session, Stuart said to discuss personnel matters.
    The next Lackawaxen Township Supervisors' meeting is scheduled for Nov. 18th at 6:30 p.m. at the municipal offices on Urban Road.
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