Officials tip hats for response

Officials Tuesday morning expressed gratitude for members of the county's emergency management services, as well as members of the Jay Township Volunteer Fire Department, for their quick and decisive action involving a downed aircraft May 13 in Benezette.Brian C. Rayner, a senior air safety investigator for the National Transportation Safety Board, acknowledged county officials and volunteers for their hospitality and on-scene and followup support regarding their investigation."The immediate response of your firefighters and their coordination with state and local agencies helped my team recover evidence from a very challenging crash site," Rayner said. "Their work in preserving perishable evidence was exceptional and will no doubt provide vital insight into why this tragedy occurred."The on-site support with your vehicles, firefighters and mobile command center, as well as the use of your station house and equipment, went well above and beyond the call."When board officials respond to an accident, they are generally unaware of how much support will be received on-scene."But in this case, the overall hospitality and support we received from your team was outstanding," Rayner said. "Please thank all of the officers and firefighters who responded, specifically chief [Lenny] Schneider and [emergency services] director Mike McAllister."I congratulate you on the professionalism and can-do attitude of your entire staff."