Townsend residents turned out en masse to support the community’s fire and police departments during Safety Day. Fire chief Don Stallions said the special day, held earlier this Spring, was in a field in the middle of town.
The event was the idea of Tony Rayburn, an officer with the Townsend Police Department.
“It was Tony’s brainchild,” said Stallions. “He organized it and did the legwork. It was a way to give back to the community. One lady said it was nice to deal with us in a non-emergency situation.”
Attendance was estimated at between 700 and 800 residents, Stallion said. “We had LifeStar helicopter come in, and they let people go through it. The whole event was a huge success. Blount County Corrections officers did a demonstration of how to deal with unruly prisoners, which was interesting. Finally, it was so hot, we let the hoses go on slow flow and here came the kids!”
Volunteers gave away more than 100 bicycle helmets and taught the youngsters about traffic safety.
Other sponsors for the event included Foothills Striders, Smoky Mountain Wheelmen, the Epilepsy Foundation and the Knoxville Regional Transportation Planning Office. The Knoxville Regional Transportation and Planning Office provided the bicycle helmets.