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PennDOT, State Police Urge Drivers to Plan Ahead, Designate a Sober Driver for Independence Day Holiday

PennDOT left-cmykstate_police_logo     


June 30, 2016

PennDOT, State Police Urge Drivers to Plan Ahead, Designate a Sober Driver for Independence Day Holiday

Harrisburg, PA – The Pennsylvania Department of Transportation (PennDOT), the Pennsylvania State Police and local police are partnering to help decrease alcohol and drug- related crashes and fatalities, as well as aggressive driving behavior, through the Independence Day holiday weekend. 


“Though Independence Day is a time for celebration, we urge Pennsylvanians to plan ahead and designate a sober driver throughout the holiday weekend,” PennDOT Secretary Leslie S. Richards said. “Drivers should also avoid aggressive driving behavior and always wear your seat belt so that we all get to our destinations safety and spend time with family and friends.” 


According to PennDOT data, last year there were 330 alcohol-related crashes resulting in 11 fatalities from Friday, June 26, to Sunday, July 5. This marked an increase from 2014, when there were 326 alcohol-related crashes and 11 fatalities from Friday June 27th through Sunday July 6, 2014. Also, during the holiday period last year, there were 99 drug-related crashes and four fatalities in those crashes, an increase from 85 drug-related crashes and four fatalities in 2014. 


Police this year will focus their enforcement efforts on speeders, aggressive drivers, seat-belt use and those who drink and drive during the holiday period.


“We urge motorists to buckle up and use caution when traveling over the holiday,” said State Police Commissioner Tyree C. Blocker. “Troopers will be on the lookout for traffic violations and impaired drivers, so please obey the speed limit and don’t get behind the wheel impaired. To ensure motorists get to their destinations safely, remember to keep distractions to a minimum while driving.”

As part of this high-visibility impaired-driving enforcement effort, the Pennsylvania State Police and local law enforcement will conduct checkpoints and roving patrols. This effort is funded through PennDOT’s statewide distribution of more than $4.7 million in federal funds from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.


The public can join the conversation on social media by using #drivesober and #designateddriver. 

Visit for more information on impaired driving and PennDOT’s other traffic-safety initiatives.


MEDIA CONTACT: Ashley Schoch, PennDOT, 717-783-8800; Adam Reed, State Police, 717-783-5556

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State Officials Remind Citizens to Follow State Laws, Practice Safety When Using Fireworks



June 30, 2016

 State Officials Remind Citizens to Follow State Laws, Practice Safety When Using Fireworks

 Harrisburg, PA – With the fourth of July holiday fast approaching, all Pennsylvanians are being reminded to stay safe and follow state law when enjoying fireworks displays as a part of their celebrations.

“Every year, what should be a time to honor America with family and friends turns tragic somewhere,” said State Fire Commissioner Tim Solobay. “Following common-sense safety guidelines can prevent these tragedies and help you create lasting happy memories.”

Pennsylvania law allows consumers to use only small “novelty” fireworks, such as sparklers and trick noise makers. These fireworks can be sold by retail establishments with valid permits.

“With the upcoming holiday weekend, families and friends will come together for cookouts, picnics or even weekend trips,” said Agriculture Secretary Russell Redding. “As a part of these festivities, there may be fireworks on display. If you are planning to use fireworks as a part of your events, either this weekend or for future activities, please be sure to purchase those fireworks from licensed dealers within the commonwealth.”

All display fireworks that are shot into the air and burst into a large, colorful display, like those seen at organized celebrations and sporting events, are prohibited for use by consumers.

Solobay shared the following safety tips from the National Council on Fireworks Safety:

  • Fireworks should only be used outdoors, away from structures, automobiles, etc.
  • Always have water handy.
  • Use fireworks only as intended. Read and follow all directions provided by the manufacturer.
  • Never attempt to relight a “dud” firework. Wait 20 minutes and then soak it in a bucket of water prior to disposal.
  • Use common sense. Anyone igniting fireworks should wear safety glasses, and spectators should stay a safe distance away.
  • Alcohol and fireworks do not mix.
  • Never use homemade fireworks or illegal explosives – illegal fireworks should be reported to local law enforcement.
  • Only persons over the age of 12 should be allowed to handle sparklers of any type. Sparklers should only be used under close adult supervision.
  • Always remain standing and at least six feet from others while using sparklers.
  • Always wear closed-toe shoes when using sparklers.
  • Never hand a lighted sparkler to another person.
  • Never hold or light more than one sparkler at a time.
  • Sparkler wires and sticks remain hot long after the flame has gone out.  Be sure to drop the spent sparkler directly into a bucket of water.

Officials added that there are a number of safe, fun ways to celebrate the holidays with loved ones without fireworks, such as: using glow sticks; red, white and blue bubbles; or silly string.

Media contacts:

Ruth A. Miller, OSFC: 717-651-2009

Brandi Hunter-Davenport, Agriculture: 717-787-5085


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PA Game

Release #40-16


May 20, 2016

For Information Contact:

Travis Lau




Whether in their backyards or high on a mountain, it’s almost certain Pennsylvanians will encounter young wildlife this time of year.

While some young animals might appear to be abandoned, usually they are not. It’s likely their mothers are watching over them from somewhere nearby.

So when encountering young deer, birds, raccoons or other young wildlife, the best thing people can do is leave the animals alone.

“Most people want to do what they can to help wildlife, and when they see a young animal that appears to be abandoned, they want to intervene,” said Wayne Laroche, the Game Commission wildlife management director. “What they don’t realize is that, in all likelihood, they’re doing more harm than good.

“Those young animals probably aren’t abandoned at all, meaning that anyone stepping in to try to help not only is taking that youngster away from its mother, but also destroying its chances to grow up as it was intended,” he said.

Adult animals often leave their young while they forage for food, but they don’t go far and they do return. Wildlife also often relies on a natural defensive tactic called the “hider strategy,” where young animals will remain motionless and “hide” in surrounding cover while adults draw the attention of potential predators or other intruders away from their young.

Deer employ this strategy, and fawns sometimes are assumed to be abandoned when, in fact, their mothers are nearby.

The Game Commission urges Pennsylvanians to resist the urge to interfere with young wildlife or remove any wild animal from its natural setting.

Such contact can be harmful to both people and wildlife. Wild animals can lose their natural fear of humans, making it difficult, even impossible, for them to ever again live normally in the wild. And anytime wildlife is handled, there’s always a risk people could contract diseases or parasites such as fleas, ticks and lice.

Wildlife that becomes habituated to humans also can pose a public-safety risk. A few years ago, a yearling, six-point buck attacked and severely injured two people. The investigation into the incident revealed that a neighboring family had illegally taken the deer into their home and fed it as a fawn, and they continued to feed the deer right up until the time of the attack.

It is illegal to take or possess wildlife from the wild.  Under state law, the penalty for such a violation is a fine of up to $1,500 per animal.

Under no circumstances will anyone who illegally takes wildlife into captivity be allowed to keep that animal, and under a working agreement with state health officials, any “high risk” rabies vector species confiscated after human contact must be euthanized and tested; it cannot be returned to the wild because the risk of spreading disease is too high.

Animals infected with rabies might not show obvious symptoms, but still might be able to transmit the disease. Though any mammal might carry rabies, the rabies vector species identified in the agreement are: skunks, raccoons, foxes, bats, coyotes and groundhogs.

People can get rabies from the saliva of a rabid animal if they are bitten or scratched, or if the saliva gets into the person’s eyes, mouth or a fresh wound.

Only wildlife rehabilitators, who are licensed by the Game Commission, are permitted to care for injured or orphaned wildlife for the purposes of eventual release back into the wild.  For those who find wildlife that truly is in need of assistance, a listing of licensed wildlife rehabilitators can be found on the Pennsylvania Association of Wildlife Rehabilitators website,

If you are unable to identify a wildlife rehabilitator in your area, contact the Game Commission region office that serves the county in which the animal is found so that you can be referred to the appropriate licensed wildlife rehabilitator. Region office contact information can be found through the “Connect with Us” tab on the agency’s website,


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Household Hazardous Waste Events 2017

seal300Northampton County Department of Community and Economic Development

Household Hazardous Waste Events
May 20 & October 14, 2017, 8:30-2:00

2017 Household Hazardous Waste Event Flyer

Northampton Community College, Main Campus, Bethlehem Township, PA
Use Green Pond Rd entrance only

Northampton County residents ONLY

Bring Photo ID or recent utility bill to verify residency

No cost, except for tires.

No TVs or other electronics accepted

Adhesives, Aerosols, Antifreeze, Automotive fluids & cleaners,

Batteries (all types), Compressed gas, Fluorescent light bulbs, Flammables/combustibles, Fire extinguishers,

Herbicides/pesticides, Household cleaners, Mercury-containing products, Motor oil/filters,

Oil-based paint & stain, Old gasoline/oil mixtures,

Pool chemicals, Propane cylinders, Thermometers, Thermostats

Non-hazardous materials will not be accepted
No latex paint or stains
No smoke detectors/radioactives
No medical wastes

Accepted Scrap Metals

Recycling of residential scrap, that is primarily metal, including lawn furniture, yard equipment (oil, gas & batteries removed),

major metal appliances (washer, dryers, stoves), air conditioners and dehumidifiers (refrigerant does not require removal, it will be recycled), etc.

Tires2016 HHW FlyerfinalFees (check or cash only)
Automobile, & light duty truck $2.50 each
Tractor trailer $5.50 each

No rims/wheels accepted (see scrap metal, above)
No farm, bicycle, mini-bike, motorcycle, golf-cart,
backhoe, etc. tires will be accepted.


Emergency Services Trailer Operations & Safety Instructor Level


Emergency Services Trailer Operations & Safety Instructor Level

This course is designed to teach the instructional methodology to potential and existing instructors needed to deliver the following program. This program was developed to provide the necessary resources to address trailer operations and safety for Emergency Services Organization (ESO). Trailers have been around for years, however, it is the increasing use of them in the emergency services setting that is new. Frequently, equipment is needed that cannot be carried on traditional vehicles or the equipment is needed sporadically. This equipment could be for day-to-day operations or for special operations. Trailers have become a mechanism to transport this equipment, however, many departments lack the expertise or training to hook up or move a trailer safely. As the use of trailers increases it becomes imperative to educate proactively to avoid unnecessary loss of life and property.

September 14, 2016
6:00 PM – 10:00 PM


Northampton Emergency Management

100 Gracedale Avenue Nazareth, PA 18064

Pre-registration required! Please register by September 1, 2016

VFIS Insured

1st Registration Free
Additional Registrations $60 each

Non-VFIS Insured

1st Registration $299
Additional Registrations $99 each

How to Register: Submit completed Registration Form and payment to: VFIS, 183 Leader Heights Rd., P.O. Box 2726, York, PA 17405

Register on-line at or Email form to Fax to (717) 747-7028

Registration Form


Transportation Rail Incident Preparedness and Response: “Flammable Liquid Unit Trains” Training Program

PA Fire Academy
The Pennsylvania State Fire Academy is offering this 8-hour class utilizing curriculum developed by numerous agencies working with the U.S. Department of Transportation’s Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA). This course provides critical information on best practices related to rail incidents involving unit trains hauling Hazard Class 3 flammable liquids such as Petroleum crude oil and  ethanol.

A key component of this class is to learn from past experiences and to leverage the expertise of public safety agencies, rail carriers, and industry subject matter experts in order to prepare first responders to safely manage unit train rail incidents involving commodities such as crude oil and ethanol. This exciting program will be offered locally on:

Friday, April 22, 2016 at 8:00 a.m. or Saturday, April 23, 2016 at 8:00 a.m.

Northampton County EMA
100 Gracedale Avenue
Nazareth, PA 18064

To register, please complete an application and email to or mail it to Jerry Bimle at the PA State Fire Academy. Register early!

Deadline is noon on April 1, 2016.

04-22-16 Northampton Co. EMA Nazareth – TRIPR AEER Application

04-23-16 Northampton Co. EMA Nazareth – TRIPR AEER Application


For Additional info or applications you can contact :
Michael Rampulla at 610-746-3194 ext.3229 or at

PA State Fire Academy
Jerry Bimle
1150 Riverside Drive
Lewistown, Pa 17044