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Jim Thorpe brings back fire police unit

Jim Thorpe Borough is bringing back a special fire police unit to help crews at emergency scenes.

Mayor Michael Sofranko said last week that around three to five people are interested in forming the organization, which falls under the direction of his office.

“I met with both the police and fire chief and I can tell you that over the last six months, probably even longer than that, there is a definite need for this,” Sofranko said.

“We’ve had accident scenes where police are trying to handle unruly people in the car and direct traffic around the scene at the same time. That’s an example of how the fire police here would be a great asset to both our police and fire departments.”

Fire police will have to be a member of one of the fire stations in town and of the municipal fire department.

They must also be trained in hazardous materials awareness and have taken National Incident Management System 700, 100 and 200 courses.

Sofranko will swear in members after they have completed all of the certification requirements.

“They can’t be fire police anywhere else but in Jim Thorpe unless they get approval from borough council,” Sofranko said.

Council President Greg Strubinger said Jim Thorpe did have a police unit in the past, but it’s been “decades” since they have been active.

“I was under the impression we needed an ordinance and all this other stuff to revive it, but we checked with the solicitor and there is nothing we really have to set up like that. You need a captain, and really just go from there.”

Sofranko said he would have further paperwork for council this week but no action would be required at Thursday’s meeting.