By By Jacob Tierney – Trib Total Media
Two Youngwood rescue dogs are putting safety first with their new bulletproof vests.
The vests came from Vested Interest in K9s, a Massachusetts-based nonprofit that donates protective clothing for canine professionals.
Youngwood applied to Vested Interest for vests for two of its search and rescue dogs, Bella and Rusty.
“We’re trying to protect them just like we’re trying to protect all of our firemen,” Youngwood fire Chief Lloyd Crago said.
He said he hopes to eventually purchase vests for all 10 of the department’s rescue dogs, but since each custom-fitted vest costs $950 it will take some major fundraising efforts to make it happen.
Vested Interest has been providing vests free of charge since it was founded in 2009.
“The dogs that are taking care of us, we have to take care of them. They deserve the same level of protection as human officers,” said Vested Interest president and founder Sandy Marcal.
By Alicia Mcelhaney – Triblive.com
Surely firefighter E. Jeffrey “Lance” Wentzel was watching from heaven last week as the Youngwood Volunteer Fire Department held the summer carnival he loved so much.
Wentzel died in the line of duty on March 22.
He was struck by a train in North Versailles while searching for a missing woman.
“After everything he gave us, it’s only right to do something for him — to honor the way he passed,” truck captain John Storey said.
Fire Chief Lloyd Crago said the department wants to honor Wentzel and to let others know of his legacy.
Work has started at Station 26 in Youngwood on a permanent memorial to Wentzel. It will serve as an oasis for reflection at the fire station on Second Street.
“We just want to make sure everyone remembers him,” Crago said. “We want his kids and grandkids to be able to come to the fire department and remember him.”
Wentzel, a firefighter for 35 years, was named the department’s first Firefighter of the Year award in 2012.
By Ralph Iannotti – KDKA
NORTH VERSAILLES (KDKA) — The search for a missing Wilmerding woman took a tragic turn Saturday evening when a local volunteer firefighter, who was part of the search crew, was struck by a train and killed.
Edwin J. “Lance” Wentzel, 57, was a 35-year veteran of the Youngwood Volunteer Fire Department in Westmoreland County. He was hit from behind by a Norfolk Southern freight train.
Wentzel was part of a team from the fire department that brought canines in to help in the search for 55-year-old Ruth Mullennix of Wilmerding. She hasn’t been seen since Monday night.
Swissvale Police contacted the fire department for help.
The search area was near the railroad tracks beneath the Westinghouse Bridge in North Versailles. Mullennix’s coat and cell phone were found Thursday in a rail yard beneath the bridge.
By HoopieWorld.com / Photo by Lloyd Crago
At approximately 10:00pm on Monday evening, Youngwood crews were dispatched to a vehicle accident with entrapment on South Third Street near Chestnut Street.
Two vehicle were involved, and Youngwood crews extricated one patient from a car. A pickup truck was also involved in the accident.
One patient was flown by medical helicopter to a Pittsburgh hospital.
By Marilyn Forbes -The Mt. Pleasant Journal
Members of the Youngwood community learned first-hand how and when firemen work at the recent open house held at the Youngwood Borough Volunteer Fire Department.
“This is our chance to show people what we do here,” said Lloyd Crago, the department’s chief.
The last time that the department hosted a similar event was more than 20 years ago, he said.
“The people in the town don’t know what we do here or what we have here,” he said.
Informational display booths were set up throughout the department’s grounds to educate visitors.
Firemen performed demonstrations such as extinguishing a vehicle fire and a mock extrication drill involving a vehicle damaged during a collision.