The Barry County community took advantage of the second National Night Out in Hastings Tuesday, taking in emergency services equipment, demonstrations, watching kid’s activities, picking up free food and prizes and talking to police, firefighters and ambulance personnel who serve them twenty four hours a day, seven days a week during the year.
Chief organizer Hastings Deputy Chief Dale Boulter said they gave away 1,300 to 1,400 hot dogs, along with chips and bottled water. Two new events, a photo booth and firefighters using jaws to take a car apart were especially popular.
Boulter said he was pleased with the participation by area residents and especially that it brought the emergency services people together in a casual setting too. All the agencies personnel respond when called for mutual aid, but they don’t have a chance to interact in a low pressure setting very often.
“We had the Hastings Reserve Officers and the Barry County Posse members both directing traffic at the entrance to Tyden Park. It was awesome to see.”
What started out nationally as a chance to improve relationships between the public and the police has evolved into all emergency services building relationships with the community and also between agencies, Boulter said.
He credited the success of the event to the emergency services agencies that responded with their equipment and time and people like Barry County Jail corrections Deputy Amber Jansens who pitched in and helped organize this year’s event.
“We’ll be holding a post-event meeting to see what worked and what didn’t. Yes, there will definitely be a third National Night Out and we’ll keep adding new things.”
Click here for a photo album of 2018 National Night Out