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Storm cleanup: Cooperation exemplified

| Friday, Sept. 6, 2013, 8:57 p.m.

When it rained, it poured — long and hard — on Armstrong County last week. Area firefighters answered more than 200 emergency calls.

In some cases, trees and downed wires blocked roads, as did rising water, making it difficult for emergency responders to reach residents in need of help

Once on the scene, crews often found that hours of work had to be done, such as pumping out basements, checking swamped homes for people, mustering boats, closing roads, etc. It was work in hot, humid weather.

Looking back on Aug. 28, we're impressed by just how well these fire companies worked together. There was no parochialism on these calls. Firefighters followed the chain of command. And their cooperative efforts produced results in short order.

In addition to the fine work by fire company volunteers, PennDOT sent out updates on road closings, county Emergency Management Agency officials and 911 dispatchers coordinated various efforts, and the local Red Cross and United Way got word out on where help could be found.

This was — and has been in the past — the best example of governmental cooperation in action. And it leaves us to wonder: Why don't municipal, county, state and federal leaders work better together? Not that they don't talk about it. The county planning office does, perhaps, the best job.

But if you ever see an elected leader from one town at the meetings of other elected bodies, let us know.

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