Overbrook hosts First Responder Showcase

By Jeremy Gaston
Osage County Herald Chronicle – May 6, 2015

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Overbrook Police Chief Terry Hollingsworth envisioned Saturday’s First Responder Showcase as an opportunity for residents to gain familiarity with law enforcement and emergency workers in their community.

“I think everyone walked away excited,” Hollingsworth said. “Everyone was excited to meet the police officers and firefighters. This is something you really can’t do when you’re on patrol.”

Almost a dozen local, state and federal agencies from Osage and Shawnee counties attended the event Saturday morning at Overbrook City Lake.

“This is the first year of this,” Hollingsworth said. “We didn’t know what to expect, but if we had expectations, they were exceeded. There were people already there when we were setting up the tents, and through 1 p.m. when we were shutting things down.”

The event was scheduled to go until 3 p.m., but was ended early by afternoon showers. Hollingsworth said the turnout up to that point was steady, with nearly 200 children.

“We did Ident-A-Kid, and probably 100-125 children,” Hollingsworth said. “We gave out a lot of suckers, stickers and key chains – all sorts of different things.”

The Community Blood Center also had a good response.

“They set up their blood mobile,” Hollingsworth said. “They had a goal of 15 units, and ended up getting 21, which equates to 42 lives being saved.”

Other participating agencies included Osage County Emergency Management; The American Red Cross; Carbondale, Lyndon, Overbrook and Scranton Police Departments; Osage County Fire District No. 4 Overbrook and No. 5 Lyndon; Scranton Fire Department; and the Kansas Department of Wildlife, Parks and Tourism.

“The game wardens were out there with an air boat,” Hollingsworth said. “Eisenhower State Park was out there with an archery range.”

Shawnee County Sheriff Herman Jones also attended the event.

The Army Corps of Engineers attended the event with water safety information.

Additional lifesaving information was provided by Operation Lifesaver, with assistance from BNSF Railway.

“They were out there with a car that had been hit by a train,” Hollingsworth said. “That was kind of a big draw.”

The Kansas Highway Patrol interacted with people through demonstrations using The Convincer.

“That’s the slide that mocks a five mile per hour collision,” Hollingsworth said. “A lot of people did that.”

The automotive safety message was driven home with three extrication demonstrations by the fire department.

Hollingsworth was pleased with the overall success of the day.

“It was very family friendly,” Hollingsworth said. “Every single exhibitor said they would be back next year, and exhibitors that couldn’t make it said they will be there next year, because they heard about it.”

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