Four Firefighters Honored for Heroic Efforts During Water Rescue

MAHONING TOWNSHIP, Pa. -- One after the other, four firefighters stood before the Mahoning Township supervisors meeting to be awarded for their heroic efforts they displayed during this water rescue over the summer.

“While risking great personal harm, he took part in the conduct of a swift water rescue under hazardous and complex conditions,” said T.S. Scott, the supervisors chair.

The four volunteer members of the East End Fire Company in Mahoning Township near Danville were called to a house in nearby Columbia County in the early morning hours of July 25.

They managed to rescue a family of five from their home near Catawissa as rapidly rising floodwaters from Big Roaring Creek surrounded it.

The firefighters even saved the family's pets.

“Our obstacles were whatever was in the yard, definitely the water depth was a big concern, our prop was bottoming out here and there,” said Lt. Joshua Poticher.

“Access the situation, so we can get them out there safely and as quickly as possible, the way the river is flowing or the creek that went over its banks, how quickly it's flowing,” said Lt. Jonathan Fellin.

The township supervisors say up until a year ago, the township had no ordinance that would allow officials to honor police and firefighters for extraordinary service.

That resolution was adopted in August of last year.

“We believe that for service above and beyond the call people should be recognized and they are going to be getting the Meritorious award, our second highest award for their actions,” said supervisor Larry Robertson.

“It makes you feel good, it makes you feel good that everyone in the community has a chance to actually see what we do,” said Poticher.

Since implementing the awards program, this is the second awards ceremony held by the Mahoning Township Supervisors.