Piscitelli takes over as Forward Twp. fire chief in consolidation move

By ERIC SLAGLE Daily News Staff Writer

Forward Township has consolidated leadership of its fire departments under a single chief.

Chief Tony Piscitelli announced he was on duty as head of the municipality’s three volunteer fire departments at a regular township supervisors meeting Thursday.

Piscitelli was appointed to the position, effective May 1, at a meeting two months ago.

Supervisors asked township fire chiefs to submit lists of qualified firefighters to be considered for the position back in February in an effort to resolve disputes between the departments that had arisen over the years about who was in command at various emergency scenes.

Piscitelli, who was assistant chief of Gallatin Sunnyside Volunteer Fire Department, said he was naming as his assistant chiefs the men who previously were serving as chiefs of the departments. Consequently, the new assistant chiefs are Steve Pierce of Forward


Township VFD, Chief John Hess of Gallatin Sunnyside VFD and Chief Walter Albright of Bunola VFD.

Piscitelli said the decision was an easy one.

“They know their areas,” he said.

Piscitelli will serve as chief on all fire scenes under the new leadership arrangement. In the event he’s unavailable at a fire scene, one of the assistant chiefs will be in charge. If none of them are on the scene, command of the emergency will fall to the next highest ranking firefighter.

In other news, board of supervisors president Tom DeRosa announced that Bunola Post Office is planning to celebrate its 123rd anniversary May 26 and that all mail posted at the facility on that date will receive a special anniversary cancellation mark.

Supervisor Tom Headley noted that three bridges along Pangburn Hollow Road are listed on Allegheny County Department of Public Works’ “awaiting construction” list, but he said he isn’t sure when, or even if, those projects will get started.

“They were supposed to do it several years ago,” noted Headley, who said he’s contacted the county about a timetable for the work and has not yet received a response.

Headley added that if the bridge work does get under way, necessitating closure of the roadway, Sadler Hollow Road would be the designated detour route.


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