The Borough contracts with the City of Pittsburgh to provide fire protection services. The agreement took effect in April of 2011. This landmark service sharing agreement increased the number of firemen responding to fires in the Borough significantly, with a resulting increase in public safety, and will save taxpayers money as the cost of providing emergency services continues to rise in all municipalities.
The fire station in the Borough Building, located at 605 Ross Avenue is staffed by firefighters 24 hours a day, seven days a week 365 days a year. In addition to providing emergency response, the firefighters also provide many related non-emergency functions. The station located in the public works building at 1230 Park Avenue is now staffed by an ambulance crew from Eastern Area Pre-Hospital Services.
The Pittsburgh Bureau of Fire provides emergency response functions within the Borough of Wilkinsburg. These functions include responding to structure fires, vehicle accidents, hazardous material incidents, flooding, physical rescues, and many other types of emergencies. To report an emergency in Wilkinsburg, dial 911. You will reach the Allegheny County Dispatch Center, and the operator will ask for your location and type of emergency.
Emergency Evacuation Shelter Team
Community volunteers work with the American Red Cross to provide emergency evacuation shelters during an emergency. The community emergency evacuation center team is a new concept that provides the community with the equipment needed to open an emergency shelter. In addition to equipment, the American Red Cross provides training to local residents to enable them to open an emergency evacuation shelter immediately, if necessary. When the team is activated, the Red Cross will assist as needed. The program has been in place since 2007. If you are interested in participating in this important program, please contact the American Red Cross at 412-263-3144.
In addition to emergency functions, the Pittsburgh Bureau of Fire provides many different non-emergency services. These services are focused on fire prevention, and include Smoke Detector Installation, Public Fire Education, Community Emergency Response Team (CERT) training, and Fire Code Enforcement.
Smoke Detector Installation
The Pittsburgh Bureau of Fire also offers "Project Stay Alarmed!", a program focused on preventing fire related injuries. If you live in Wilkinsburg, you are eligible for free smoke alarms and installation. The smoke alarms were provided by a grant from the Federal Emergency Management Agency and are installed by the Pittsburgh firefighters. The firefighters will also provide some fire safety education at the time of installation.
The smoke alarms are powered by long-life lithium batteries, which will last up to 10 years, eliminating the need to change batteries yearly. They are also equipped with a “hush” button, which enables the alarm to be silenced in the event of a false alarm. There is no cost or obligation involved. To obtain your free smoke alarms and carbon monoxide detectors, contact the Pittsburgh Bureau of Fire at (412)-255-2860. Remember, smoke detectors save lives!
Public Fire Education
Wilkinsburg has fire prevention education programs available for any group of interested residents, and designed to meet the needs of all ages. These programs include the NFPA “Risk Watch” Program, Fire Safety Trailer with Weather Emergency Training, and Fire House Tours. The department also offers special programs for block clubs or community groups regarding various safety topics.
The NFPA “Risk Watch” program is designed to be an all hazards prevention program. The program is coordinated through the school district and is designed for grades pre-kindergarten through sixth grade. The program covers Motor Vehicle Safety, Fire and Burn Prevention, Choking, Suffocation and Strangulation Prevention, Poisoning Prevention, Falls Prevention, Firearms Injury Prevention, Bike and Pedestrian Safety, and Water Safety. The curriculum for this program was provided free of charge from the Pennsylvania State Fire Commissioner’s Office.
The Pittsburgh Bureah of FIre also operates a fire safety trailer as part of the public education program. This 38-foot mobile trailer is designed around the Risk Watch Program curriculum. The interior is designed to simulate hazards in the home. This unit is handicap accessible and designed for students of all ages. The trailer is also equipped with a weather emergency training module, which is used to train students of all ages how to react to a weather emergency.
The Pittsburgh Bureau of Fire provides Fire House tours of the Wilkinsburg station as part of our Public Education Program. This program is designed to teach the public about the operations of the fire department and to educate the public about fire safety. For more information or to arrange a tour, please contact the Wilkinsburg fire station at (412)-244-2930.
Community Emergency Response Team (CERT) Training
The Pittsburgh Bureau of Fire and the Pittsburgh Emergency Management Agency also provides Community Emergency Response Team (CERT) training, which is designed to teach residents to response during disasters. During a major disaster the local emergency responders maybe overwhelmed with requests for help. These responders may not be able to reach some areas of the community. The CERT training teaches citizens of the community to assist the emergency responders. CERT members are trained to administer first aid and CPR, shutoff utilities to building, search buildings, rescue victims and extinguish small fires using portable fire extinguishers.
Fire Code Enforcement
The Bureau enforces the International Fire Prevention Code. This code was adopted by the state as the statewide fire prevention code. All of the Fire Inspectors in Wilkinsburg are certified by the state to enforce these regulations. The main areas of concern are providing safe buildings throughout the community. During an inspection the department is focused on safety issues such as working fire alarm systems, safe exit ways, proper emergency lighting and many other safety issues.