Oakmont Lions Club's inaugural Night Out event recognizes borough first responders
Oakmont Volunteer Fire Department Capt. Ray Rogers Jr. said emergency responders do not need thanks for their work, but it is nice to be recognized.
Recognized they were at the Oakmont Lions Club’s inaugural Night Out event at Riverside Park Aug. 7.
“We don’t ask for this kind of thing, but it’s nice for the community to come out and support us,” Rogers said. “We’re always out there trying to help anybody in the community we can. We do it because we love doing it and it’s part of a job.”
Club Secretary Diane Harrell talk about the importance of police, fire and ambulance services and her own experience with all three departments.
“You are invaluable members of our community,” Harrell said.
Event Coordinator and Lions Club member Joe McAndrew said Harrell wanted to have a barbecue to thank emergency responders and expanded on the idea after observing National Night Out events in other communities.
Introduced in 1984, the national campaign encourages people across the country to promote police-community partnerships and get to know others outside of emergency situations.
The fire department brought their new truck. Lower Valley Ambulance Service staffers brought an ambulance and an officer stopped by after his patrol.
About 50 people showed up to the Oakmont event, including resident Kassandra Stotler and her two children Glenn, 3, and Penelope, 8.
“As a nation, I think we talk about the first responders a lot, but we don’t have the opportunity to get together and thank our local people unless we need their services or make a special trip,” she said. “To have a moment in time where we can come together and see them in a social setting … I think that’s wonderful.”
McAndrew said the club plans to build from the event and make the next Night Out even bigger.
Michael DiVittorio is a Tribune-Review staff writer. You can contact Michael at 412-871-2367, firstname.lastname@example.org or via Twitter @MikeJdiVittorio.