Helena community comes together for National Night Out

By GRAHAM BROOKS / Staff Writer

HELENA–Helena Fire Department ladder trucks, Helena Police cruisers and more could be seen in the parking lot of the Helena Walmart Neighborhood Market on Monday, Aug. 1, but this wasn’t because of an emergency.

Instead these vehicles, as well as several tents with HPD and HFD gear, was on display as part of National Night Out, an event meant to bring communities together and strengthen the camaraderie between local police and fire departments.

Helena was one of several cities participating nationwide on Aug. 1 as National Night Out is meant to “enhance the relationship between neighbors and law enforcement while bringing back a true sense of community,” according to the organization. It also provides a great opportunity to bring police and neighbors together under positive circumstances.

For two hours, the Helena Police and Fire departments were out meeting with members of the Helena community while offering safety tips, providing photo opportunities with police and fire vehicles, giving out free pizza and hot dogs and more.

At one station, Helena firefighter Bill Mayfield demonstrated how to safely put out a kitchen fire and provided tips on how to prevent a fire as a family looked on.

“Kitchen fires are the leading cause of fires in the U.S.,” Mayfield said. “It’s important to keep appliances clean but if a fire occurs when cooking with oil the best thing to use other than a fire extinguisher is to use a lid as a shield and smother it.”

After demonstrating how to put the fire out using the lid, Mayfield let several children try the fire safety smothering technique.

Many families had plenty of photo opportunities as children and siblings climbed into the Helena Police Departments ATV, hummer, cruisers as well as on the Helena Fire Departments engines No. 61 and 62 for photos.

The Helena Police and Fire Explorers were also present at the event providing tips and handing out free food and drinks to those in attendance.

Doug and Celia Ingram have lived in Helena since the 1970s and commended the departments on the jobs they have done since their time living in the community.

“We have been here since the 70’s and we love the community,” Celia said. “We’ve seen it grow and every interaction we’ve had with the police has always been positive. They’ve always been there.”

To view more photos of the event, visit Shelbycountyphotos.com.