The three branches of the Summit Emergency Services were on the scene at the Village Green Tuesday evening. Accompanied by emergency vehicles, flashing lights and blaring sirens, they arrived on the scene to address a situation downtown: Celebrating National Night Out Against Crime.
The annual event, sponsored in part by the Summit Police Department, Fire Department and First Aid Squad, aimed to introduce the families and children of Summit to emergency service workers in a friendly environment.
The three departments provided refreshments, doughnuts and more than 60 pizzas from all of Summit's pizzerias to a crowd of approximately 450 families. Summit Soundz provided music and Tae Kwon Do students from Master Yoo's Martial Arts showed off their skills for the crowd.
In addition to food and music, a squad car, ambulance and fire truck were on hand for children to explore. Officer Rodney Watson, who coordinated the event, showed a group of children how to operate the sirens and lights in the squad car.
Resident Michelle Miller stumbled upon the event while driving her kids home from daycare and said she was glad they stopped.
"They're having a great time," said Miller. "We picked them up from daycare and they saw the trucks and they were so excited to come out. It's such a wonderful even they're having a great time getting to touch all the trucks from their heroes"
Miller said her three-year-old son, Sutton, was particularly excited to see the fire truck.
"Sutton in particular loves firefighters, that's really his favorite thing, she said. "He actually got a goldfish yesterday and named it firefighter."
Lieutenant John Dougherty, who attended the event, said National Night Out helps to strengthen relations between the town and the emergency services.
"I think aside from putting a face on a name and showing the human side of the police department and the other emergency services, it shows the children who they can go to if they're in trouble or have questions," said Dougherty. "Similar to the Dare Program, it's patterned after building bridges between children and the officers themselves.
Dougherty, who is the head of the Traffic and Special Services Bureau and Rodney Watson's, boss, said he was pleased with Watson's planning skills.
"Rodney did an excellent job," he said. "This is very well attended and his planning certainly has paid off."