La Vergne first responders met many city residents over bottled water and hot dogs on Tuesday, Aug. 6 at Veterans Memorial Park for the annual National Night Out event.

La Vergne Chief of Police Mike Walker said the goal of the annual event is, “so the community can come together in a safe place, have a good time, enjoy themselves, and see all the various helping groups within our community.

“We want people to get to know who the police officers are, and to see us doing something other than answering a call or working a wreck.”

Walker was passing out Frisbees, crayons and coloring books, and ensuring children received age-appropriate safety messages like” Stranger Danger”; “Stop, Drop and Roll” and “911 is for Emergencies”.

The groups at La Vergne’s National Night Out included police and fire department personnel, Vanderbilt’s LifeFlight air ambulance, the Rutherford County Sheriff’s Office, the La Vergne Rescue Squad and Box 100 volunteers. A similar event was held the same night in Murfreesboro.

The fire department brought several fire trucks and an agility test for adults and children. Fire Chief Chris Clark said, “We come here to directly support the police officers with National Night Out. We’ve been blessed with great weather and we’ve seen a great turn out from the public.”

One new group at the event this year with the Fire Department was the department’s volunteer Fire Explorers Post, a program of the Scouts.

“The Fire Explorers are under the direction of the Fire Marshal Curtis Brinkley, and the 17 Fire Explorers on hand are assisting with fire department functions. On their training days, they train on firefighter skills,” Clark said.

During the Night Out event, the Fire Explorers assisted with the department’s physical agility test for adults and children, who put on firefighter bunker gear, deployed hoses, and “rescued” the full-size, 180-pound, “Rescue Randy” training dummy.

“It’s a really great time for families and a great time to connect our emergency personnel with our citizens, citizens, so the kids can learn that the first responders are friendly, to not be afraid of them and to understand that they’re here to help,” La Vergne Vice Mayor Melisa Brown said.

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