Downtown Needles, CA: Meeting law enforcement and volunteers who protect, serve, and rescue lives during National Night Out.
Residents got the chance to meet with local law enforcement and volunteers of the Search and Rescue Team and Citizen On Patrol during the first National Night Out event was held on Tuesday, August 4th, 2015 near the intersection of West Broadway and G Street in Downtown Needles, California.
According to the National Night Out website, National Night Out enhances the relationship between neighbors and law enforcement while bringing back a true sense of community and provides a great opportunity to bring police and neighbors together under positive circumstances.
Neighborhoods across the nation host block parties, festivals, parades, cookouts and other various community events with safety demonstrations, seminars, youth events, visits from emergency personnel and exhibits.
The San Bernardino County Sheriff’s Department Deputies as well as volunteers from the Search and Rescue and Citizen On Patrol brought out all their equipment out to display to the public and booths where set up by local businesses, such as H2OAsis Auto Spa, Dairy Queen, and Westside Shell Gas Station, for water, energy drinks, and ice cream to be sold to the public during the event.
Families with their kids got to climb into the front seat of a San Bernardino County Sheriff’s Department vehicle and inside a donated San Bernardino County Sheriff’s Department boat where a life jacket giveaway was held.
A San Bernardino County Sheriff’s Department Command Center trailer was set up and the public were allowed to see inside and learn about the communications equipment that is used during search and rescue incidents that call for the command center trailer to be sent to.
Needles City Council Member Louise Evans as well as City of Needles Mayor Edward T. Paget attended the event and were seen shaking hands and talking to all of the San Bernardino County Sheriff’s Department Deputies, volunteers of the Search and Rescue Team and Citizen On Patrol, and the public who came out to the event as well as purchase some ice cream from the Mustang Cheerleaders who brought the Mustang spirit to the people during the event well raising money for cheer gear.
The delicious ice cream was thanks to Dairy Queen of Needles, California and Joe Jones who is very active in helping in the community and events that bring people together such as this event.
The public got to meet and speak with San Bernardino County Sheriff’s Department Deputies as well as the Caption Ross Tarangle as the Colorado River Station of the San Bernardino County Sheriff’s Department in Needles, California.
The public also got to meet and speak to caring volunteers of their Search and Rescue Team and Citizen On Patrol to learn more about their hard work they do and to sign up to join the Search and Rescue Team and Citizen On Patrol.
ZachNews spoke to Larry E. Ford of the Search and Rescue Team about what it takes to be a Search and Rescue Team member and how it feels to help people in his community.
According to Larry E. Ford, we have 350 volunteers working on the Search and Rescue Team serving the whole San Bernardino County, California area, and mostly we handle the eastern portion of the county; the Colorado River area as well as the near by mountain areas. We also get call out to other parts of San Bernardino County, California including Big Bear, California.
Larry E. Ford tells ZachNews that this year, we have had so far 4 search and rescues, but county wise, it’s on a weekly bases, like in Big Bear, California and Mount Baldy, California; those places have lots of search and rescues all the time.
ZachNews asked Larry E. Ford how he feels to be out there helping families find their love ones.
According to Larry E. Ford, that is why we are out there; to bring them home alive. We do not like to do recoveries, we like to do rescues. Just like to other day, we were called out to a woman who was missing out here, and we found her behind the Seventh Day Adventist Church in Needles, California. It’s a good feeling.
ZachNews asked Larry E. Ford what are the qualifications to be a Search and Rescue Team volunteer.
According to Larry E. Ford, must be 18 years old and over, be available 24/7; we don’t have down time because you never know when you will be called, you must not be a felon, in good health; we have a train course for 3 different weekends and it’s intense training teaching you all of the skills needed in the field.
Larry E. Ford tells ZachNews that currently, they have volunteers with advance first aid, volunteers who are qualified in caving and mountaineering, and we even have volunteers who do winter rescues.
Equipment used in search and rescues incidents were on displayed during the event and Larry E. Ford tells ZachNews that there’s a lot of equipment that he sent out to help in the search and rescue efforts such as ATV’s, quads, a command center trailer, and a bunkhouse in case of a overnight search and rescue for the volunteers.
ZachNews spoke to Norma Jean Williams, member of the Citizen On Patrol, about what it takes to be a Citizen On Patrol volunteer and how it feels to help her community to be safer well being their to help out.
Norma Jean Williams tells ZachNews that herself and other Citizen On Patrol volunteers were out there in the aftermath of the storm that hit the Needles, California area on Tuesday, August 12th, 2014, working to keep the public safe and away from down utility lines and poles and from flooded roadways where water flowed over the roadway from heavy rain fall; making sure that motorist don’t drive into the flooded roadway and be sweep away.
ZachNews have seen during our news reporting Citizen On Patrol volunteers making sure that crime scene areas are secured and closing streets as fire department crews work to put out fires.
Norma Jean Williams tells ZachNews that currently in Needles, California, there are at least 7 Citizen On Patrol volunteers and they welcome more people, man and woman, to join and help their community.
ZachNews asked Norma Jean Williams how does it make you feel going out there helping and patrolling her community.
According to Norma Jean Williams, it makes me feel very good and satisfied because I am helping them in anyway I can, even if its to give them comfort in a situation.
ZachNews asked Norma Jean Williams what are the qualifications to be a Citizen On Patrol volunteer.
According to Norma Jean Williams, you have to be at least 18 years old and over, and be free for 1 day a month for their meetings, and are required to put in 8 hours or more of patrol duty a month; at least 8 hours, and volunteers will go out with a deputy on patrol.
Those in the public wanting to be a Citizen On Patrol volunteer should have the heart to volunteer and help the people of their community.
Anybody who want to be apart of serving their community as well as helping to save lives, you can go to any San Bernardino County Sheriff’s Department station, including the Colorado River Station located at 1111 Bailey Avenue in Needles, California, and fill out an application or go onto the San Bernardino County Sheriff’s Department where you can also fill out an application there.
Norma Jean Williams tells ZachNews that applicants will be fingerprinted, go through a drug test, and background check, and if the pass, will become a volunteer and be apart of helping their community.
** San Bernardino County Sheriff’s Department Website: **
Even with a small turn out for the first event, organizers were pleased to know that the people who came out to this year’s National Night Out got to know more about the people who are out there protect and serving their community and the people who are out there searching to their loved ones.
** More information regarding National Night Out is at the following National Night Out website address: **
**** Thanks to everybody who helped in putting this event together and to all of the man and woman who serve on the San Bernardino County Sheriff’s Department, on the Search and Rescue Team, and on the Citizen On Patrol. ****