Local first responders unite to host pop-up sprinkler parties in summer heat
RAPID CITY, S.D. — High temperatures over the past few weeks inspired the Rapid City Police and Fire Departments to find a ‘cooler’ way to interact with local kids.
The fun began with a tweet from the Rapid City Police Department- “Hey Rapid City Fire- We’re out on patrol on this beautiful morning thinking about how warm it’s been lately. Might be another great day for a pop-up sprinkler party for some neighborhood kids… What do you guys think?”
The fire department agreed to join, replying “That’s a great idea! We had so much fun last time, let’s do it again! Where should we meet?” and the Fire Department agreed to bring hoses and water if the Police Department brought snacks.
The tweets soon turned to treats at the street corner of Neptune Drive and Marquette Drive.
“All it is is an opportunity for the police department and the fire department to get together and just let the kids have some fun. The fire department brought water hoses and we brought some treats, and it’s good fun for everybody,” says RCPD’s Patrol Lieutenant Chris Holbrook.
The first responders have thrown these impromptu cool-downs in neighborhoods where their call volume is highest, hoping to provide some positive experiences where they’re needed most.
“It just builds trust. So a lot of these folks we might know from calls for service…because they were a victim at one point or otherwise. So, I mean, just the more that we can get a positive interaction going, it just helps all around us to get the job done,” Lt. Holbrook adds.
Although adults are welcome, events are focused on youth outreach, offering a fun, safe way to burn of some summer energy.
Lt. Holbrook explains that “it gives the kids the opportunity to see us in a different light, so we’re here doing positive interactions, and it helps them trust with the community members, and it just makes it all around easier for the community and the police department to work together.”
Kids also got the chance to explore the retro police car and fire truck. There’s no word yet on the next water party – we’ll have to wait for another hot day and a tweet to start it all.