County to add $3,700 telephone to elevator

HOLLIDAYSBURG – Blair County’s latest safety improvement will cost $3,760 for a telephone inside an elevator in the older portion of the courthouse.

“It’s hard to imagine a phone costing that much,” Commissioner Diane Meling said. “But it’s a safety issue.”

In December, two juvenile probation officers spent about 90 minutes in the elevator when it malfunctioned after a brief power outage. They had been in court during the late afternoon hours and were returning to their offices when the elevator stopped between the second and third floors, juvenile probation office supervisor Nancy Williams said.

After prying open the elevator door, one worker used a shoe to bang on the wall, drawing the attention of an adult parole and probation officer who made an after-hours stop at the courthouse to do some work, Williams said.

“Had someone not been coming into the building, we probably would have had two employees spending the night in an elevator,” Meling said.

Or, had it been a Friday, they might have been stuck for a longer time, Williams said.

The adult parole and probation officer summoned emergency crews.

Williams said she made the commissioners aware of the incident and forwarded details to the courthouse safety committee for review. She said she’s glad that the county is purchasing the telephone.

“A lot of people use that elevator on a daily basis,” she said.