Howland had role in rescue
A piece of equipment it lent to the effort will be placed in a museum.
HOWLAND -- A cable used to speak with the coal miners trapped in Somerset, Pa., this weekend came from Howland.
Assistant Township Fire Chief Clyde McKenzie said the township department lent its 1,000 feet of communication cable to the rescue effort late last week.
"We got a call Thursday from Targeting Customer Supply Inc. of Akron asking if we would loan the cable to the Somerset, Pa., rescue workers because we were the closest department to have that long of a cable," McKenzie said.
"There was no hesitation on our part."
Targeting Customer Supply distributes the cable. The cable manufacturer is Comtec of Washington State.
McKenzie said rescue workers were unable to speak to the miners, who were trapped 240 feet underground, because the only communication cable they had was too short.
The cable comes with a headset, a microphone, talk box and four speaker harnesses.
"We were so happy that we were able to help out," McKenzie said.
Purchased in April
Howland bought the cable for $8,700 in April in the event it would be needed in this area to rescue someone in a confined space underground.
"At WCI and Delphi Packard Electric there are underground pipes that they have employees work on from time to time and we wanted this type of equipment in case we had to do a rescue," McKenzie said.
He said the company is sending the township a new cable because the one loaned to Somerset is going to be placed in the National Coal Miners Museum in Illinois.
"We should have the new cable soon, but, in the meantime, if anything happens, we will resort to other methods of communication," McKenzie said.