YATESVILLE — The Jenkins Township/Yatesville Borough Crime Watch organization held its inaugural bike rodeo and safety day at the Pittston High School Aug. 27.
With a goal of teaching children safety precautions in a variety of scenarios, the organization brought in local ambulance, fire and police groups to help guide and teach kids what to do in case of an emergency.
Event organizer and Jenkins Township police officer Tracy Shultz said the group wanted to do something to benefit the community and include children, so they thought of the bike rodeo.
“As a crime watch, we wanted to do something for the community,” she said. “We thought what better way than to start with the kids.”
Though the rodeo seemed like a fun activity to the children, Schultz said it was created to teach kids how to properly ride and remain safe.
“The reason for the bike rodeo is to teach them how to ride their bike and observe whats around them,” she said.
Starting out, children must ride a straight line through a narrow set of cones before coming to a complete stop. Then they must begin again, peddling through figure 8s and S-curves before having to ride around a large obstacle. Children between the ages of 3 and 12 were allowed to participate, with the first 100 kids getting a free bicycle helmet and gift bag.
Below the rodeo, families waited in line for a chance to have their kids walk through the Pittston smoke house.
A mobile trailer set-up to resemble a home, the smoke house shows children what its like be to inside a home when a fire occurs, and shows them how to stay safe and get out. When activated, the home begins to fill with fog and Jenkins Township firefighters guided the kids through “Stop, Drop and Roll” and other safety measures to quickly escape.
Besides home safety, the public service organizations also set up a mock head-on collision between two vehicles, teaching children when and how to dial 9-1-1 in an emergency situation.
Inkerman resident Scott Roxby brought his children to the event Saturday. His first time at a safety event, Roxby said he and his family enjoyed everything that was available to them.
“It’s pretty cool, there’s a lot of stuff I wasn’t expecting to be here,” he said.
But it wasn’t all about safety.
Children were also able to participate in a multitude of fun events, such as two bounce houses, face-painting and a dunk tank where they attempted to “dunk” firefighters. Hotdogs, hamburgers and music were also available on-site. Multiple bicycles and gift cards were also raffled off, which were donated through local organizations and businesses.
Overall, parents were happy the crime watch held the event to teach children about safety.
“It’s a good time,” said Eric Kovac of Inkerman. “It’s good for kids to learn about safety.”
Proceeds from the event go to the crime watch, which will then donate the funds to the Jenkins Township Police Department to help purchase equipment for its cruisers. Greater Pittston Ambulance, Jenkins Township Police, Fire and Road departments all participated in the event.