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Upper Mac board hears emergency services review


Special to The Press

In addition to the appointment of Michael Sitoski as permanent police chief, Upper Macungie supervisors also heard a number of personnel decisions and motions to improve the township’s emergency management and operations.

The board accepted a letter of resignation from Roger Conrad as the deputy emergency management coordinator, effective Sept. 30.

Bureau of Fire Director Peter Christ said Conrad had offered to continue serving as the fire police captain for Good Will Fire Company No. 1, Trexlertown, and to remain as a resource on the township’s emergency operations plan.

Chairman James Brunell asked Christ to draft a letter of recognition, and the board voiced their thanks for Conrad’s years of service.

In a related move, Charles Deprill was approved to fill the now-open deputy emergency management coordinator position, as Christ reported Deprill had expressed his willingness to assist the township and offered his assistance in the role.

Supervisor Kathy Rader voiced her approval for Deprill, noting he was very well-connected within emergency services.

Furthermore, supervisors also approved hiring Jamie Keenhold as a full-time fire inspector effective Oct. 19.

The board approved a $150,000 fund donation to Upper Macungie Township Station 56 for the construction of a new training simulator structure.

Christ said a committee from the fire department had been working on the joint training site at the North Quarry and had recommended the purchase of a multiuse structure which could be used by the fire department or police department for training.

Additionally, another motion to purchase materials for the township’s Emergency Operations Center was approved at a cost not to exceed $12,000.

Christ said the Bureau of Fire and police department, along with township Manager Bob Ibach, decided Upper Macungie needed an Emergency Operations Center.

The center would be set up in the police department’s training room.

Also approved was the purchase of access control systems for all fire department facilities in the amount of $14,063, as well as updates to the township’s Emergency Operation Plan to fully meet Pennsylvania Emergency Management Agency standards.

For fire and EMS reports, Christ reported fire department responses have roughly returned to 2019 levels.

Fogelsville Station 8 had four members retire or resign. Upper Macungie Township Station 56 lost two members and Trexlertown Station 25 added three new members for a total membership of 90.

A contract for Trexlertown’s new rescue truck has been signed and submitted, with an estimated chassis arrival in March or April 2021 and completion of the truck in October 2021.

Christ also mentioned railroad crossings in the township have been closed at different locations, including Ruppsville, Memorial and Blue Barn roads for repairs and paving without notifying emergency services.

The board noted these concerns and asked Christ or other township personnel to get in contact with Norfolk Southern Railway about the unannounced closures.

Lastly, Ibach reported the township’s Trick-or-Treat night will continue as scheduled from 6-8 p.m. Oct. 30 with a rain date of Oct. 31.

The next board of supervisors meeting is scheduled for 7 p.m. Nov. 5.