National Night Out blends safety, fun

| October 21, 2014 | 0 Comments
Asah Miller, 2, is reluctant to exit the fire truck despite urging from his mother, Carmen Mller (in the foreground) at Aliamanu Community Center's National Night Out, Oct. 10.

Asah Miller, 2, is reluctant to exit the fire truck despite urging from his mother, Carmen Mller (in the foreground) at Aliamanu Community Center’s National Night Out, Oct. 10.

 

Story and photos by Karen A. Iwamoto
Staff Writer

ALIAMANU MILITARY RESERVATION — As afternoon faded to evening, Oct. 10, parents and children began filing into the Aliamanu Community Center, here, for National Night Out, a family-friendly event that promotes safety awareness at the neighborhood level.

Island Palm Communities, which manages military housing for the Army in Hawaii, had transformed the community center into a mini-fair with booths, games, prizes and balloons.

Kids clambered aboard a fire engine and a Coast Guard boat while parents collected information from police, firefighters, and Army and Coast Guard personnel. Later, they enjoyed a screening of “The Lego Movie” while snacking on popcorn and cotton candy.
IPC organizes National Night Out in North and South Oahu, twice a year, in August and October.

Sheryl Ferido, IPC community service manager, helped to make the event a success.
“It is important to partner with other organizations because we all have a common interest in taking care of our families,” she said.

One thing she wanted the kids to take away from National Night Out was a “sense of community.”

From left: Samantha Sapp, 9, Katherine Sapp 3 (on Samantha's lap), Evan Sapp, 7 and Heather Sapp, their mother.

From left: Samantha Sapp, 9, Katherine Sapp 3 (on Samantha’s lap), Evan Sapp, 7 and Heather Sapp, their mother.

Angela Sanders, fire inspector with the Federal Fire Department of Hawaii, said kids can do lots of things to keep their community safe.

“One is to never play with matches,” Sanders said. “(Another is to) learn the numbers to all of the emergency services. We stress 911 (for emergencies) to kids as early as possible.”

Sanders said the most rewarding part of participating in National Night Out is when children tell her they have a fire evacuation plan and have practiced it.

“There have been several cases where kids remembered the information they got from us and used it to save their family (from a fire),” she added.

Nine-year-old Samantha Sapp remembered information she learned from firefighters.
“If a fire gets on your clothes, stop, drop and roll,” she explained.

Samantha’s mother, Heather Sapp, a liaison officer at Camp Smith, said she aims to keep her family safe.

“We made sure we had a meeting place in case of a fire, and we keep all the emergency numbers posted,” Heather said. “The older kids know where it is and how to use the phone.

“We talk to them about alerts,” Heather continued. “Like on the news, recently, there was an alert about a man trying to lure kids into a van. We play out (these) scenarios.”

• More Online
For more information about National Night Out, visit natw.org.

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Category: Community, Community Relations, Education, Safety

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