Piscitelli named Forward chief

By ERIC SLAGLE Daily News Staff Writer

Forward Township is moving ahead with its plans to name a single fire chief for the municipality’s three fire departments.

At a meeting Thursday, township supervisors approved a measure that will make Tony Piscitelli the township’s recognized fire chief as of May 1.

Piscitelli, who is a member of the Gallatin Sunnyside Volunteer Fire Department, will have two assistant chiefs serving under him. Supervisors did not say who those assistant chiefs will be.

Board of supervisors chairman Tom DeRosa said they will appoint people to those two positions at a future meeting.

Supervisors introduced the idea of consolidating leadership between its departments at a meeting last month. Township leaders said there have been disputes for years over which department is in charge at fire scenes.

Chief Steve Pierce of Forward Township VFD, who attended the meeting, said firefighters never argue about it at emergency scenes but do sometimes have arguments about who was in command afterward.

Supervisors did not appoint a term for the new chief.

District solicitor Bernie Schneider said the supervisors are not appointing the chief per se, because the chief is not a township employee.



Rather, he said, they are voting that Piscitelli will be recognized as chief by the township. Schneider said supervisors can vote to recognize another person as chief at any time.

Bunola VFD is the township’s third fire department.

Supervisor Dave Magiske reported that township police Officer in Charge Robert Curdie is recovering from an automobile accident that occurred Tuesday afternoon.

Curdie was in a police cruiser in the parking lot of a gas station along Route 51 when another vehicle veered off the highway and struck the police car.

Magiske said Curdie plans to return to work Monday.

Supervisors noted the police department has two officers off from work because of injuries.

Officer Jason Miller is out with a back injury he sustained on a call Feb. 17.

In other news, Supervisor Tom Headley announced that Giant Eagle has notified the township it is considering putting a GetGo gas station at the location of the former Payday’s supermarket along Route 51.

Headley said the supermarket chain had contacted the township about a culvert on the property of the proposed gas station.

The letter to the township indicated that the site developer is looking to shorten the length of the culvert.

Headley said the gas station could bring more tax revenue to the township and that would be a good thing, but he said he also has concerns that if it is built, the area could see an increase in petty crimes such as gas theft and shoplifting.


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