At tree lighting, Corbett thanks Pa. first responders

    Pennsylvania’s Capitol Christmas tree was lit for the first time Tuesday.

    Gov. Tom Corbett used the event to thank the first responders throughout the state for all they did during the summer storms and flooding.

    Corbett and first lady Susan Corbett lit the Capitol Christmas tree with the help of 15-year-old Colin Vengen. During the floods of Tropical Storm Lee, Colin was airlifted from Schuylkill County to a Philadelphia hospital by state troopers so he could get a liver transplant.

    Colin’s mother, Tiffany Harkins, said she can’t believe her son is with her and healthy.

    “They got us there in record time. And he was able to get the transplant done,” said Harkins.

    “And, thank God. I am glad that the state troopers came along and helped us out with that because without them, I don’t know what would have happened,” Colin said.

    State Police Cpl. Paul Roy, who helped in the medical transport, said he looked at Harkins’ face right after her son pushed the button to light up the Christmas tree.

    “Right then, she said, ‘Thank you.’ You go through your whole career in law enforcement or just a first responder and very rarely you hear the thank-yous, but this is a real important one for us,” said Roy.

    The tree will be on display in the Capitol Rotunda until Jan. 7.

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