Arlington turns out for a Night Against Crime

ARLINGTON — Two-year-old Matthew Brown’s concern went away as soon as he sat in the driver’s seat of a fire engine.

After he glanced around the interior of the cherry-red Arlington Fire Department truck, he was all smiles.

“I think he’s going to grow up and be a firefighter,” said Smokey Point resident Sabrina Brown, Matthew’s mom. “He definitely knows who the real heroes are.”

The Browns were two of the dozens of community members to learn more about the city’s fire, police and emergency management departments on Tuesday, Aug. 3, during National Night Out Against Crime.

The event, put on by the National Association of Town Watch, gives participating city officials an opportunity to talk to the public about crime prevention and help generate support for local anti-crime programs.

“It’s a great single night to have the community and the police and other departments work together,” said Cmdr. Terry Quintral of the Arlington Police Department, one of the organizers of this year’s event. “This gives us an opportunity for people to see what we’re all about.”

In Arlington, organizers brought in a handful of vehicles for children, parents and other local residents to check out. The city held their National Night Out activities at two locations — at City Hall in downtown Arlington and at Arlington Fire Station No. 48 on Smokey Point Boulevard.

Brothers Jacob and Colby Becton of Arlington were among those who got a personal tour of the fire department engine — the event’s biggest draw — from firefighter Kirk Normand at the downtown location.

Normand showed the youngsters how the various parts of the truck functioned, and answered questions that the brothers had.

“They think the fire engines are really entertaining,” said mother Tambra Becton. “We’ve lived in Arlington for the past seven years and this is the first time we’d heard about (National Night Out) here. I know that Lake Stevens has a big event each year.”

Eight-year-old Zander Broadhead also got a chance to inspect the fire department engine.

“I’ve got to drive around in one before, but never sit in the driver’s seat,” he said.

Broadhead asked a number of questions about the engine’s siren and tools, including the jaws of life.

“I’ve seen those on TV,” he said.

His mother, Brandie Broadhead of Arlington, smiled as her son talked with firefighters about the truck.

“He enjoys this kind of stuff,” she said.

In addition to fire department personnel, the city of Arlington’s K-9 unit made appearances at both locations. Officer Anthony Davis and canine Baylee were on hand, as was McGruff the Crime Dog.

It wasn’t just first responders that were at the event.

Representatives and volunteers from the city’s Emergency Management department were also on hand to talk to attendees about being prepared in the case of an emergency.

Brian Hester, volunteer for the city’s emergency management department, was among those handing out information.

One of the items Hester talked with attendees about was emergency rations. He showed individuals a 2,500-calorie ration from FEMA.

“Some of these taste OK,” he said, holding the densely packed ration in his hand. “This one doesn’t, but it will keep you alive.”

Hester added that event such as National Night Out Against Crime also give community members a chance to learn about how to survive should an emergency occur.

“It’s always important to be prepared,” he said. “It can be life or death for people. That’s why we’re here — we want to share the information with people.”

Since 1984, more than 34 million people in over 10,000 communities have taken part in National Night Out activities.

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