Night Out shows off emergency services
Along with all the planned displays of emergency services equipment and people at Tuesday night’s Community Night Out in Souderton, there was another part that wasn’t anticipated.
Shortly after 8 p.m., the fire whistle went off, sending at least one firefighter running through a police dog demonstration as the sirens and flashing lights went on for real and the trucks pulled out after skirting a medical helicopter and the crowds at Souderton Community Park.
Initially reported as a building fire, it turned out to be an unattended controlled burn, Perseverance Volunteer Fire Company of Souderton Chief Al Sergio said.
Giving the public a chance to see the equipment used by police, fire and emergency medical personnel and meet the people who use that equipment is one of the primary purposes of Community Night Out hosted by the Souderton and Telford police departments.
Along with the local police and fire departments, other groups in attendance included the Montgomery County Communications Center, Montgomery County Correctional Facility, North Penn Tactical Response Team and the Pennsylvania National Guard.
“We have over 20 law enforcement agencies represented here tonight,” Souderton Borough Police Department Officer David Gale said.
“We have about 25 to 30 police vehicles,” Souderton police Chief James Leary said. “We have probably more than 20 fire vehicles.”
There were also another 10 specialty vehicles, used for purposes such as investigation, tactical units and bomb squads.
“All of them are staffed by the professionals who use them every single day,” Leary said.
There were also more than 100 cars in the park as part of the East Penn Modifiers Club’s car show, with additional car show vehicles on the streets
lining the park, bringing the total to more than 125, he said.
The night wasn’t only about vehicles, though. The City of Bethlehem Police Department brought three horses. In another example of four-footed, rather than four-wheeled, law enforcement, there was a police dog demonstration by the Montgomery Township Police Department.
Another of the highlights was the pie eating contest between members of the Souderton, Telford, TylersSRrW DnG HDrOeysviOOe fire companies.
Contestants had to race to Ee WKe firsW WR finisK D EOueberry pie while keeping their hands behind their back and GivinJ IDce firsW inWR WKe Sie to eat.
HDrOeysviOOe firefiJKWer Jeff Rickert, the winner, had a cheering section chanting his name as he neared the end, but he said what really motivated him was an earlier indication that he was falling behind.
“Somebody said somebody was winning and it didn’t sound like me, so I just went in further,” Rickert said. “All I heard was I was losing, so I just dove in. I couldn’t even see.”
Still another highlight was the JeffSTAT medical helicopter, which children ran excitedly toward after its landing and which people crowded around to see.
Musical entertainment included the barbershop quartet “Distinction,” of which Gale is a member.
Erin Price, of Perkasie, Miss Keystone 2012, helped out at the Keystone Opportunity Center information table. There was also a food collection for the Keystone Opportunity Center food SDnWry; cROOecWiRns DnG wDIfle DnG ice creDP sDOes WR EenefiW Chestnut Street Playground; DnG D GunN WDnN EenefiWWinJ Souderton Community Pool.
In previous years, the Souderton event was part of National Night Out activiWies KeOG Rn WKe firsW TuesGDy in August, but with many towns holding events the same night for NNO, it made iW GiIficuOW IRr DWWenGees DnG participating organizations to get to all the events.
The new date changed that.
“We have a very good turnout tonight. I’m impressed,” Gale said.
Anthony Ruggiero cuffs his brother Tommy’s feet.
Alex Vazquez climbs out of a fire truck.
Jayden MacFarlend looks at the JeffSTAT emergency helicopter at Community Night Out.