A great night out

OSF Life Flight pilot Kevin Collins shakes the hand of one of the children after viewing the inside of the helicopter.

ROCHELLE – Many turned out for the Rochelle Police Department’s third annual National Night out event Tuesday.
The event took place from 5 to 8 p.m. at Atwood Park in Rochelle and featured many different activities for both kids and adults. Some of the activities included a live band, free hot dogs, a Taser demonstration with the city manager, and a landing from the OSF Life Flight helicopter.
While all the attractions were a hit with the community, the life flight helicopter drew the biggest crowd.
“We saw on Facebook about the helicopter coming in for a landing and the city manager getting tased, and who doesn’t want to see that,” said Brittany Ludwig, an attendee at the event.
The Life Flight helicopter is stationed at OSF St. Anthony Hospital in Rockford but has a range of Madison, Chicago and the Quad Cities for medical emergencies. It also makes public relation stops at different events wherever they are asked to do so. Adults as well as the kids took interest in the helicopter, but for many of the kids this was their first time seeing one up close.
“The kids always love seeing it land, the noise it makes as it comes in really gets their attention,” explained Kevin Collins, Life Flight pilot.

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The line to see the inside of the helicopter was long and the line for the free food was at least as long. The meal included a hot dog, chips and a drink that were donated by local organizations. The hot dogs were donated by Tyson, the buns were from Walmart, the water was from Ralfie’s BBQ and Aldi, the chips were from the Fraternal Order of Police, the ice was also from Aldi, the rest was provided by the City of Rochelle.
The Rochelle Police Department expected a good turnout this year and the community exceeded their expectations.
“Everything is doing all right, there is a line at the school resource officer car and the helicopter, even the adults like that,” explained Deputy Chief Jeff Leininger. “We have 600 dogs, water and chips and the amount of people may surpass the amount of food.”

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TNT Motors from Oregon was handing out Frisbee’s at the event as well.

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