Lightning Safety Awareness week under way

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PITTSBURGH - This week marks Lightning Safety Awareness week and in Monaca, a Little League team is making sure they know about the "strikes."

Emergency Management Coordinator Jeff McKay wears a lightning detection pager on his belt. He said it lets him know how far away lightning strikes are to the ball field where the Little Leaguers play.

"Once it gets to the 0 to 6 or 6 to 12 miles then we put everyone on alert," said McKay.

That's when players and fans leave the field and head for their cars.

"With the youth out in the open, there are a lot of dangers with fencing, polls and bleachers," McKay said.

Lightning kills an average of 54 people each year in the United States. According to the National Weather Service, since 2002, 10 people in Pennsylvania have died from it.

Charlie Woodrum is a meteorologist with the National Weather Service in Pittsburgh. He recently recognized the Monaca Youth Baseball League Association for completing the Lightning Safety Toolkit. It is the first Little League in the country to receive this honor.

"It's a big threat when you're out on the field so knowing where to go and what to do is very important," he said.

On Monday, 15 people were treated after a lightning strike at a Connecticut golf course this week.

To learn more  or sign up for  the Lightning Safety Recognition  program email Charles.woodrum@noaa.gov

To access the lightning safety toolkit, log on to lightningsafety.noaa.gov.

The toolkit can be found here.