National Night Out returns for 2022
Published 9:30 am Thursday, October 6, 2022
By NOAH WORTHAM | Staff Writer
NORTH SHELBY – Residents had an opportunity to put a face to a badge during this year’s National Night Out at Heardmont Park.
On Tuesday, Oct. 4, residents gathered at Heardmont Park from 6-8 p.m. to celebrate National Night Out, and get a chance to enjoy festivities while meeting local first responders.
“This is a wonderful display of public safety in this county and all the resources that are available to citizens and (we) have a really nice turnout,” Shelby County Sheriff John Samaniego said. “We hope to continue every year and let it grow and get more and more people involved in what we have to offer them.”
Officers from various departments were present at the event, alongside firefighters from multiple fire departments.
“We have deputies down there making balloon hats for kids, and we have a lot of really nice things that are kind of off the beaten path from normal police work,” Samaniego said. “I can’t count out my fire department friends here. They’ve done a beautiful job of putting up all their fire equipment. I noticed the kids are really enjoying it.”
Children were allowed to take a tour and climb inside of various emergency vehicles at the event, such as helicopters and fire trucks.
“It’s just a lot of times first responders go unheralded or (are) unsung heroes, but in Shelby County we’re very blessed,” Samaniego said. “Our community supports us very well, and we really owe a debt of gratitude to them.”
Lieutenant Christine Shores shared her perspective on the event as a member of the Cahaba Valley Fire Department.
“National Night Out gives us the opportunity to just partner with Shelby County and be out in the community, get to know our people (and) let them get to know us,” Shores said.
The department’s firetruck was on full display with all of its tools out for observers to see.
“It’s really to help kids see that these trucks are big, but being able to see what the things are and understand and know why we have it and what they’re for, really kind of helps them be a little more at ease,” Shores said. “Anytime you’re able to meet the people that are coming to help you, it gives you that sense of comfort if you are in an emergency situation that, ‘Oh, I met that guy,’ or, ‘I know that person.’”
Alongside the opportunity to meet the first responders, Frios Gourmet Pops and The Great American Hotdog Stand were available for concessions.
“(There’s) just super nice weather out tonight, and if you miss this year, just come back next year,” Shores said.