First responders’ gear displayed on Heroes Day
Residents get to see how their money is spent.
JESSUP — Lackawanna County Deputy Ryan DeLuccie told Kato “stellan” — Dutch for “bite” — and slapped his hairy partner on the haunch.
The 80-pound Belgian Malinois dog covered about 25 feet in the blink of an eye and sank his teeth into fellow Deputy Eric Castellano, who was protected by a bite sleeve.
The next time the 5-year-old canine sprinted toward Castellano, DeLuccie shouted “af ” — Dutch for “down,” pronounced “auf ” — and Kato broke off his attack mid-sprint.
“He doesn’t want to (stop) by nature, but this is where obedience comes into play,” DeLuccie told dozens of spectators who watched the demonstration Saturday during Lackawanna County’s annual Heroes Day. “I don’t ever want him to have to bite anybody. I want his presence alone to be enough of a deterrent.”
Kato is trained as both a patrol dog to be highly skilled in apprehending people as well as to detect explosives. Some of his jobs have included protecting presidents, vice presidents, secretaries of state and attorneys general.
The event showcased numerous other emergency responders and county agencies, ranging from county agencies sharing information with the public about the heroin epidemic to the Pennsylvania Army National Guard.
“I think it’s an awesome opportunity to be out with the public and share with them experiences about what we do, and talk to them to see if they have any input as far as what we do also,” state police Cpl. Manuel Hicks said.
Many small children were particularly impressed by firetrucks and other equipment an array of volunteer fire companies displayed — with Taylor’s ladder truck drawing the admiration of 3-year-old Chase Zator, who said he wants to be a firefighter when he grows up.
“He’s crazy with firetrucks,” his grandmother Carolyn Zator of Archbald said. “He has about 30 or 40 firetrucks at my house. At his other grandma’s house, he had another big ride-on firetruck.”
Taylor firefighter Ray Mochan enjoyed showing the public the department’s truck whose 100-foot ladder was fully extended and all of its amenities, in addition to the opportunity to interact with people.
“People also wonder where their donations and tax dollars go to,” Mocher added. “Now you actually get to see it.”
Brayden Noone, 2, of Scranton sits in the driver’s seat of the Jessup Hose Company 1’s truck during the seventh annual Heroes Day at Lackawanna County’s 911 Center in Jessup on Saturday.