Kathy Liebler
                        Director of Public Information

C   O   M   M   I   S   S   I   O   N                N   E   W   S             R   E   L   E   A   S   E

    Contact: Lowman S. Henry, (717) 939-9551, Ext. # 2934                         September 22, 1998



Harrisburg, PA -- The Pennsylvania Turnpike Commission has selected Joseph P. McCool, 46, of Philadelphia as its new Director of Safety. He will also direct the Turnpike’s Operations Center.

McCool comes to the Turnpike following a 25-year career with the Philadelphia Fire Department. He began his service with the Philadelphia Fire Department in November of 1973 as a firefighter and progressed up the ranks to Captain, a post he has held since 1992. As captain, he was responsible for managing fire companies and medic units with 50 employees and an annual budget in excess of $1 million including payroll, apparatus, equipment, and facilities.

"Safety has always been the top priority of the Pennsylvania Turnpike Commission," said Chairman James F. Malone, III. "Mr. McCool brings a career’s worth of experience in emergency services to his new position. That experience will be invaluable as the Turnpike enters a period of growth and technological expansion in the provision of emergency services."

McCool holds a master’s degree in public safety and an associate’s degree in fire science in addition to a bachelor’s degree in accounting. He has taken courses at the National Fire Academy, the Philadelphia Fire Academy, the Philadelphia Training and Development Center, and the Philadelphia Electric Fire School. He has also received training from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA).

He has received a number of awards during his career with the Philadelphia Fire Department, including the Albert H. Redles Memorial Community Outreach Award, the Yvorra Leadership Scholarship and the International Association of Fire Chief’s Foundation Scholarship. He was named Man of the Year by Local # 22 of the International Association of Firefighters in 1991.

McCool and his wife Bernadette reside in Philadelphia with their two sons: Joe, Jr., 19, a sophomore at Haverford College; and Patrick, 15, a sophomore at St. Joseph’s Prep.

"I am looking forward to providing Turnpike travelers with the safest roadway possible," said McCool. "My goal is nothing less than ensuring the Pennsylvania Turnpike has an emergency management system that is second to none. I’ll also be working to provide Turnpike employees with a safe working environment."

The Pennsylvania Turnpike Commission maintains a 24-hour per day, 7-day a week Operations Center at its Main Administration Building near Harrisburg. The center provides instantaneous communications with Troop T of the Pennsylvania State Police, its own emergency service and safety personnel, and with a network of volunteer fire departments throughout the state. Emergency call boxes located at one mile intervals across the Turnpike system and *11 cellular communications link Turnpike travelers with the Operations Center.


         P.O. Box 67676, Harrisburg, PA 17106-7676         Phone: (717) 939-9551         Fax: (717) 986-9649