One of the advantages of attending Wilkes-Barre Crime Watch meetings is hearing from local experts in their fields. Captain Alan Klapat and Chief Jay Delaney, of the Wilkes-Barre Fire Department, visited the Valley View Terrace Crime Watch group on High Street on an early April afternoon to talk fire safety. About a dozen high rise residents made their way to the meeting room to hear the presentation emphasizing egress procedures. A NIST (National Institute of Standards and Technology) film was shown demonstrating just how quickly fire can engulf a typical living room: in a matter of minutes.
Both Delaney and Klapat highlighted the need for residents to assist one another when responding to a fire alarm, as well as work in concert with the responding firefighters to properly evacuate the high rise. “We’re here [at this crime watch meeting] in the spirit of cooperation,” said Delaney.
Captain Klapat also spoke to the North End Crime Watch group at the St. Mary’s Social Hall on Madison Street at the end of April. About sixteen crime watch members heard a fire safety message geared towards occupants of residential neighborhoods. Klapat focused on strategies for protecting life and property from the threat of fire, including a review of some of the city open burning ordinance restrictions. He announced that eleven new firefighters are expected to complete their training at Luzerne County Community College on July 11. They will then be incorporated into the WBFD ranks.