Polk Fire-Rescue seeking $10,000 for equipment upgrades

The Polk Fire-Rescue department is on a mission to raise $10,000 to upgrade emergency scene equipment used for traffic control by the department’s fire police.

“The big picture is to give all the notification we can to the general public (at an emergency scene),” Polk fire chief Thomas Sherman said.

Sherman said Polk Fire-Rescue assists eight departments in Venango and Mercer counties and responded to 394 calls in 2018, 150 of which utilized traffic control devices.

“We realized that we’re not having enough signage at these scenes,” Sherman said.

Sherman said the department hopes to raise enough money to purchase 3-by-3 pink “emergency scene ahead” signs, LED advanced warning flashing lights, collapsible traffic cones and two-way radios, but he acknowledged the department may have to prioritize what to do when it comes time to write a check.

“We’ll see what we really need and then we’ll decide what we get,” he said.

Sherman said the warning tools are essential to the safety of the general public as well as the individuals at an emergency scene.

“Not only can we save the life of one of the emergency crew, but the tow truck drivers and utility workers too,” he said.

The department covers both state and local roads such as Pittsburgh Road, Route 8 to Barkeyville Borough and Route 62 to Route 173.

Sherman has sent out letters to Polk-area businesses requesting donations for the equipment upgrades. The letters also outline the services the department provides in its coverage area.