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Alle-Kiski Laurels & Lances

| Thursday, Dec. 15, 2016, 3:36 p.m.

Laurel: For a generous donation. Volunteer firefighters provide a critical public service to their community — often on a shoestring budget. They depend on donations, such as the $42,000 that NRG Energy recently gave to the fire hall in Springdale. The fire company was able to replace a 1982 rescue truck it has had for about 10 years and purchase lifesaving hydraulic-cutting equipment that it couldn't afford. The Jaws of Life tool was an important acquisition for the department. Firefighters put it to use the same day to rescue someone from an overturned car.

We want to commend the company for being a good corporate citizen and for recognizing the financial challenges these volunteers often face. Maybe others will step up to make sure these public servants can afford the lifesaving equipment that is critical for their jobs and communities.

An observation: Opening a Pittsburgh police substation Downtown requested by residents, businesses and organizations in a minimal-cost storefront makes sense. So does including Port Authority and Point Park University police, and peak-activity staffing. But Downtown's residential boom and activity levels hardly are new. Might opening this substation sooner have helped avoid such regrettable incidents as August's near-riot in Market Square's vicinity and July 4's shooting near the Wood Street T station?

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