Sultan’s third annual National Night Out Against Crime (NNO) event, held on Tuesday, August 1, offered a sunshiny evening of free, family-friendly fun. There were free bicycles, the opportunity to pet a Snohomish County Sheriff’s Office K9 and even the chance to see a live pole top rescue demonstration performed by linemen from the Snohomish County Public Utility District (PUD).
The event was coordinated by the Sultan Community Alliance, with support from the City, the Volunteers of America Sky Valley Services Center (VOA), the Snohomish County Sheriff’s Office, the Snohomish County Public Utility District (PUD) and Snohomish County Fire District 5. The community event took place from 5 to 7 p.m. at the corner of 1st and Main streets, and included free pulled-pork sandwiches provided by 2-1/2 Men BBQ, representation from local nonprofits, a bouncy house for kids, an inside look at the Snohomish County Sheriff’s Office dive team and much more.
This was the first year that Sultan’s NNO event has featured a live pole top rescue demonstration.
The demonstration was performed by journeyman lineman team Jake Morgan and Dan Wittenberg, who dazzled NNO attendees with their skill and precision during the simulated rescue. Not only are linemen extensively trained in first aid and Cardio Pulmonary Resuscitation (CPR), they are able to deploy their skills in high-risk environments at a moment’s notice.
Linemen train for pole top rescue by simulating a wide variety of industrial accidents that could occur in the field. The goal of the training is to ensure that, in the event of an incident, any lineman has the ability to rescue an injured coworker from the top of a pole.
For their NNO demonstration, Wittenberg and Morgan developed a scenario where a distracted driver had rammed into the back of a parked PUD bucket truck. The “lineman,” a life-size mannequin weighing in at a realistic 180 pounds, was working from the extended bucket at the top of the pole at the time of the collision. He was rendered unconscious by the crash, so it was up to Morgan and Wittenberg to assess the situation and figure out the safest way to rescue their “coworker.”
Their teamwork was swift and fluid as they worked out the best way to perform the rescue. Wittenberg guided from the ground as Morgan tackled the pole. Once at the top, he hoisted the unconscious victim out of the bucket, securing him for safe transport to the ground.
Wittenberg and Morgan won the state championship during last year’s Washington State Pole Top Rescue Competition held in Spokane.
Other NNO attractions included informational booths from numerous local nonprofits, including the Gibby Home Fire Prevention Campaign, Sultan VFW Post 2554, Pasado’s Safe Haven, the Monroe Army Office, City of Sultan Public Works, the Washington State Department of Fish and Wildlife, the Washington State Patrol, the VOA, the Sky Valley Youth Coalition and the Rat Bastards Car Club, which brought two of its prized hotrods.
Sultan Cub Scout Pack 52 leaders Jody and Tiffany Kerr coordinated a free bicycle raffle, raffling off a total of 20 refurbished bicycles to local youth. Ten of the bicycles were refurbished by the Kerrs and 10 were provided by the Washington State Department of Corrections.
One of the most popular attractions of the evening was Pluggie, a bright red robotic fire hydrant operated by Snohomish County Fire District 5 firefighter Chris Shroy. A teaching tool on loan from Snohomish County Fire District 7, the good-natured hydrant was surrounded by a cluster of kids throughout the entire event as he zipped around on two wheels and imparted friendly greetings.
Shroy served as the voice of Pluggie, which is operated via remote control.
Also on loan from District 7 was the safety trailer, an interactive teaching tool which helps kids identify fire hazards in the home. A separate room in the trailer simulates what might happen in a house fire, including billowing “smoke.” Kids are taught to place a towel under the door to hinder the intruding smoke, and to feel the door with their hand to check for heat before attempting to leave the room. They are then given the opportunity to “escape” the burning structure through a window.
This year marked the 34th year of National Night Out, which is celebrated in over 16,000 communities across the nation. The intent of NNO is to build neighborhood camaraderie and bring police and community members together for an evening of positive interaction.
The Sultan Community Alliance would like to recognize and thank the Sultan Red Apple, the Monroe Grocery Outlet, 2-1/2 Men BBQ and Sultan-Monroe Masonic Lodge No. 160 for their sponsorship of this year’s NNO event. Thanks to the support of these organizations, NNO had enough free food to feed 500 guests.