Almost four months ago, four area residents drowned during a flash flood on Washington Boulevard in Highland Park. Now, City of Pittsburgh officials are planning to train all public safety personnel in water-rescue techniques.
According to an article in the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review, about 2,000 police officers, firefighters and paramedics will be trained to respond to emergencies, such as the Aug. 19 flood that and her two young daughters, Brenna and Mikaela; as well as .
About 180 employees also will make up newly-established water-rescue teams at nine fire and emergency medical services stations near waterways, and at the Zone 5 police station on Washington Boulevard, according to the Tribune-Review.
The Pennsylvania Department of Transportation also is in the a flood gate system. The system will use pressure sensors that automatically close the gates and activate the warning signs when a pre-determined amount of water is detected on the roadway. When the system activates, it will also notify the appropriate emergency response personnel.
PennDOT is funding and overseeing the installation. When the system is operational, it will be owned and maintained by the City of Pittsburgh. Construction is expected to conclude in early 2012.