Many area residents enjoy the Huntingdon fireworks display from the large parking lot at Penn Highlands Huntingdon, previously J.C. Blair Memorial Hospital, each year. Concerned for patient access and safety, as well as the safety of those viewing the fireworks, hospital administration and security and safety staff will be restricting the number of vehicles and the time vehicles will be permitted to access the hospital property for fireworks viewing.

“We implemented these restrictions two years ago and everything went very well,” said Mike McKim, Director of Engineering and Security. “In previous years we had people arrive in the afternoon and set up tailgating parties in the hospital parking lot with illegal fireworks, illegal parking close to the helipad, consumption of alcoholic beverages, unsupervised children with sparklers and scribs, creating an unsafe environment for all.”

In order to create a safer environment, the hospital will have security staff at the three entrances of the hospital and institute the following restrictions:

-Vehicles requesting access to the hospital parking lot for fireworks viewing will not be permitted to park in the lot until 7:00 p.m. on July 3, 2019.
-A limited number of vehicles for fireworks viewing will be granted access to the parking lot in designated areas. Patient and visitor parking will be maintained as a top priority close to the hospital.
-Vehicles with fireworks viewers will be directed to the hospital’s 14th Street entrance and exit and should travel via 14th Street from Moore Street so that traffic can continue to flow easily on Warm Springs Avenue to the other entrances of the hospital, both before and after the fireworks display.
-Parking near the helipad will be specifically restricted.
-Additional restrictions include no grills, no fireworks, no alcohol, no open flames and no drones. Residents are also reminded that the hospital campus is tobacco free, so no smoking is permitted. Violators will be asked to leave.

“We understand that we have a great location to view the fireworks and we want to continue to allow the public to use our parking lot for their enjoyment,” said President Joe Myers. “We do ask that you check in with our security staff when arriving and follow our guidelines so that everyone can enjoy a safe holiday and, most importantly, our patients and visitors coming for healthcare services have easy access to the hospital.”