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National Night Out teaches safety with fun
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Armstrong Atlantic State University Officer Kenneth Louk teaches Jarred Lavant, 7, how to extinguish a fire. - photo by Crissie Elric

Despite early afternoon rain showers Saturday, hundreds of people flocked to Dubois Square in Pembroke for the city’s annual National Night Out event.
Held in conjunction with the Whistlestop Farmers Market, National Night Out drew scores of families from the North Bryan communities to enjoy free hot dogs and ice cream, balloons, school supplies and much more.
“We feel we would have had twice as many if it had not rained, but we are just excited this many came out,” Pembroke Mayor Mary Warnell said.
More than 30 vendors set up shop at the event ranging from the usual farmer’s market vendors to public safety organizations, and nearly 60 sponsors helped bring the event to life. Warnell said she was glad to see the various participants at the event.
“We are so pleased to see all the different groups working toward our crime-free and safe neighborhoods here in Pembroke,” she said.
Those groups included the Bryan County Fire Department, Bryan County Emergency Services, Pembroke Police Department, Bryan County Drug Free Coalition and others. Children could tour fire trucks and get safety information from various booths.
One booth popular with children was Armstrong Atlantic State University’s Bullex Digital Safety system, a water and laser fire extinguishing simulator. AASU Police Officer Kenneth Louk was on hand to show children how to use the machine.
Louk said the simulator provides a way to teach children, as well as adults, how to properly extinguish a fire in case there is ever one in their home. Children point the laser fire extinguisher at a screen simulating a fire. He said the fire extinguisher can also shoot water at the laser-powered “fire.”
“It makes it fun because it’s like a video game,” he said.
The laser fire extinguisher weighs the same as a real fire extinguisher, Louk said, so it prepares children for a real situation.
“It’s a great lesson to kids because it’s bad enough they’re afraid (of fire) already,” he said.
Other popular activities for children included the dunking booth, where members of the Pembroke Police Department took turns letting kids and teens dunk them, and a water slide for kids.
Read more in the Aug. 15 edition of the News.

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