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Sen. James Brewster hosts first responders

| Tuesday, Aug. 27, 2013, 2:46 a.m.
Jennifer R. Vertullo | Daily News
Master trainer Lee Temple of Plum gives state Sen. James R. Brewster and family a close encounter with McKeesport K-9 Farkle during a demonstration with officer Nick Matthews.
Jennifer R. Vertullo | Daily News
The Battle of the Barrel championship went to Versailles Volunteer Fire Co. over a close second by Glassport Citizens Hose Co. No. 1. Pictured, from left, are Aaron Powell of Versailles, McKeesport firefighter Jimmy Young who started with Versailles VFC, Matthew Richards of Versailles, Dylan Clark of Glassport, Anthony Lewis of Glassport, Josh Bettell of Glassport and Chief Wayne Lewis of Glassport.
Jennifer R. Vertullo | Daily News
McKeesport Mayor Michael Cherepko mans a fire hose with city firefighters Rob Patterson and Capt. Jeff List in a Battle of the Barrel during Sunday's picnic.
Jennifer R. Vertullo | Daily News
Charisse Richards of McKeesport Ambulance Rescue Service visits Dana Bush's face-painting booth with her daughters Xandria, Aryanna, Victoria, Rilya and Tabitha.
Jennifer R. Vertullo | Daily News
Representing the city of Clairton are Deputy Mayor Kathy Tachoir and Councilman John Lattanzi, who also serves as the city's fire chief.
Jennifer R. Vertullo | Daily News
Filling plates with picnic fare at state Sen. James R. Brewster's First Responders Picnic are Ashleigh Ingram, Heather Oatman and Jamie Oatman from Port Vue.
Jennifer R. Vertullo | Daily News
From right, Penn State Greater Allegheny officer checks in with McKeesport firefighters Brandon Schmidt, Kevin Kovach, Gene Esken, Bob Boord and Deputy Chief Vince Wassel.
Jennifer R. Vertullo | Daily News
Abigail and Sophia Cerci, 3-year-old daughters of McKeesport firefighter Chris Cerci, take a break from activities to have a picnic lunch under the Blue Top Pavilion.
Jennifer R. Vertullo | Daily News
Posing with McKeesport's bomb dog Katie, from left, are Madeline Cherepko, McKenzie Moody, Connor Sturgess, Jake Cherepko and Brooke Moody.
Jennifer R. Vertullo | Daily News
Relaxing on a park swing are Jayson Hoffman, foreground, and Jon Dellapenna from McKeesport Ambulance Rescue Service.

State Sen. James R. Brewster, D-McKeesport, welcomed first responders from across Pennsylvania's 45th Senatorial District to an end-of-summer picnic.

Police, firefighters and EMS from McKeesport, Clairton, Elizabeth Township, Glassport, Liberty, North Versailles Township, Port Vue, Versailles, White Oak, Arnold, Monroeville, Plum, Pitcairn and Turtle Creek gathered with their families at the Andrew Jakomas Blue Top Pavilion in Renziehausen Park in McKeesport on Sunday. Emergency personnel from Allegheny County and Penn State Greater Allegheny also attended.

“Our first responders' picnic was an opportunity for my office to thank the police, fire and ambulance services for what they do for the general public,” Brewster said. “I hope to make it an annual event. The turnout was excellent, and we had a great time. It's just a way to give back to those who risk their lives for us every single day.”

The picnic included lunch, face-painting and a bounce house for children, a K-9 demonstration by McKeesport and Plum police departments and a battle of the barrel for local firefighters.

Jennifer R. Vertullo is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. She can be reached at 412-664-9161, ext. 1956, or

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