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Event Recap: National Night Out 2019

By Jennifer Ersalesi

Photo Credits: Bonnie Corcoran

The 36th Annual National Night Out took place on Tuesday, August 6th and Rutherford celebrated the event in Lincoln Park, along Lincoln Ave and Park Avenue. There were many activities, including bouncy houses, emergency vehicles on exhibit, and rock climbing walls, as well as a DJ.

Over forty community organizations, business partners, and health and safety groups had tables with information and activities.

The Rutherford Volunteer Fire Department Rescue Company and Engine Company # 2 were set up on Lincoln Ave where they conducted fire hose activities for the kids. Dennis Gentile told TIR, "Any time we're out with the community, the children love to come by and check everything out. They're amazed by the apparatuses and tools we use.  A member of the Rescue Company designed and built a small version of the front of a home with flames in the windows. The children had to use the hoses to shoot water at the flames to knock them out. It gave them an idea of  what we do on a real fire scene but on a much smaller scale.  By the smiles on their faces, it was a big hit."

"National Night Out gives the residents an opportunity to meet the firefighters and ask any questions they may have, especially with new families always moving into town. Children love to stop by and explore everything so it's a great time to educate them about the importance of fire safety.  Also, we're always looking for new members and after checking out the apparatuses, equipment and speaking to some of the firefighters; someone might be interested in joining," explained Dennis Gentile.

Sensei Dan Rominski, owner of The DOJO and his students participated in a karate demonstration by the bandshell.

The Port Authority of New Jersey/ New York had a police department vehicle at the event and a table with information, giveaways, and demonstrations. One of the Port Authority officers at the table was Michael Principe, who is from Rutherford.

The US Coast Guard Auxiliary escorted COASTIE, a small interactive boat robot, along the walkways in Lincoln Park.

Amelia McGowan with COASTIE, the Coast Guard mascot

Along Lincoln Ave, Rutherford Volunteer Ambulance Corps ambulances and the new Bergen County EMS Ambulance were on display, accompanied by ambulance corps volunteers.

Inside Lincoln Park were tables with representatives from many Rutherford organizations including The Junior Woman’s Club, Alfred Fiume Foundation, Rutherford Pride Alliance, Rutherford Municipal Alliance, Rutherford Green Team, the Ladies Auxiliary of the Rutherford Volunteer Fire Department and Cub Scout Pack 168.

Bergen County sent representatives from the Drug Enforcement Administration, the Bergen County Prosecutor’s Office and Bergen County Sheriff’s Department. Special Officer Michael Spina brought his K-9 unit. Members of the 508th Military Police Company NJ National Guard attended and Rutherford resident Matt Ziemkiewicz represented the Bergen County Office of Emergency Management.

The NJ Transit Police Department brought along two vehicles, a special robot and some giveaways. Bergen County Sheriff’s Department Corrections Officer and Rutherford resident Anna Pisciotta was in attendance as well as Bergen County Sheriff Anthony Cureton, Bergen County Prosecutor Mark Musella and NJ Attorney General Gurbir Grewal.

Rutherford Food Pantry volunteers also stood alongside the Rutherford Police Department's Hungry Humvee where various food and toiletry donations were collected.

Posters created by children in the community were on display in the gazebo

Children from the community were also invited to participate in a poster drawing contest, the winners of which will be acknowledged at the first council meeting in September.

Officer Villareale poses with an RPD motorcycle.

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