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Douglass Twp. Supervisors Meet at New Emergency Services Building
Written by Jennifer Frieze, Correspondent

            The Douglass Township Board of Supervisors held its monthly meeting at the new Emergency Services Building, located at 1456 East Philadelphia Ave. The meeting served as an open house to the public as well as a place to discuss township business.

            The building has been complete for several months. The Gilbertsville Fire and Rescue Company and the Douglass Township Police Department have been working out the state-of-the-art building.

            The building is efficiently designed. The fire company and police department are joined, but not connected. Each facility has a separate entrance.

            "We are privileged to be holding a meeting at a newly constructed building in the township. We are very proud to present the Police and Fire Department building," said Joshua Stouch, chair of the township's board of supervisors.

            Stouch explained that the construction of the new building was very important, especially to the police department. Officers were essentially working out of "broom closets" and sharing a small space to do their work. He continued that the new buildings were essential to "provide public safety in complex current times."

            Stouch also stated that the township is working on getting emergency medical services located at the new building. He said it will take time, but the municipality is focused on combining all emergency services and supporting them.

            McKenna Powanda, a volunteer firefighter and a foreman with the township's highway department, led a crowd through the engine room to the main entrance of the police station. There, Officer Dan Castellucci began the tour of the new police station.

            Sergeant Matt Swavely and Castellucci answered questions as they showed visitors the new building. Everything is designed to allow for safety and support of police to do their job effectively.

            It is evident that money and time were well spent to provide the very best for emergency services. It's essential that the men and women that serve the community are supported and have the equipment and space to serve their community.

            Tompkins Community Bank provided refreshments and food for the open house. The township supervisors thanked them for their support.

            In other news, Rick Smith, member of the emergency medical board, addressed the board with the need for the township to draft and adopt an ordinance for Knox Box requirements. These boxes allow the fire department into a home during a fire emergency.

            Smith suggested that as developers come in, they should install these boxes at homes and buildings.

            Smith explained that time is valuable during a fire emergency. The boxes allow quick entry into a home or building, increase safety and decrease financial responsibility.

            Township Solicitor Robert Brant will draft a preliminary plan resolution for the ordinance.

            Police Chief Barry Templin officially announced the retirement of Officer Andrew Mathias. He served the community for 25 years before retiring last December. Templin thanked Mathias for his years of dedicated service and how he participated in many duties including community relations and officer training. Mathias thanked the supervisors, Templin and all the emergency service workers, as well as his wife, daughter and parents for their endearing support.

            "I have 1,000 people to thank," he said.

            Township officials thanked Mathias for his service and made it clear they will miss working with him.






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