Marines and sailors from the Tri-command teamed up with local law enforcement to celebrate National Night Out 2016 at Naval Hospital Beaufort on Marine Corps Air Station Beaufort, Aug 2. "It is important for the community to get to know us and the programs we have available to help them," said Petty Officer 3rd Class Victoria Hodge, a hospital corpsman on Naval Hospital Beaufort. "We want to educate them on all the public services we offer."
Hospital corpsmen volunteered at the event and set up a decontamination tent to teach attendees about procedures used to respond to chemical attacks. Informational booths were on display as well as handlers with therapy dogs to teach visitors about care available to the community.
"We are here to put on a show and teach people what we do," said Cpl. Darren Keen, a Marine with the Provost Marshal’s Office on Marine Corps Air Station Beaufort. "This shows how military police and local police come together to serve the community. It is important to show the civilian population that we work with the local police."
The military working dog unit put on a demonstration for attendees, teaching them about the procedures and capabilities of the unit. The patrol aggression drills showed the obedience, training and relationship between working dogs and their handlers.
The Parris Island Fire Rescue Division from MCRD Parris Island gave tours of their ambulance and fire engine during the event, letting visitors get in the vehicles and learn about the equipment they use. Parris Island Fire and Rescue responds to emergencies aboard the depot.
"We love teaching the younger groups and getting them interested in what we do," said Jay Carter a paramedic with the MCRD Parris Island Fire Rescue. "An emergency is not when we want them to meet us for the first time. It makes it a little bit easier in an emergency situation if they can get to know us and what we do beforehand."
According to the first responders, the support of the communities is essential to perform their duties and the event served as an opportunity to bring awareness to it.
National Night Out is held annually on the second Tuesday of August. The goal of this event is the education and understanding of how each element works together to promote safe interactions. Studies show that when communities interact with each other and local law enforcement they are more likely to have lower crime rates, according to the National Night Out website.