[/caption] Every year, tens of millions of people across the nation celebrate National Night Out, also known as “America’s Night Out Against Crime.” Now in its 27th year, the event is held locally in over 15,000 communities all across the nation. [caption id="attachment_66" align="alignleft" width="240" caption="More than 5,000 people attended Berwyn's National Night Out event this year."][/caption] One of those model communities is Berwyn, Illinois, which produced the State of Illinois’ top-ranked event in 2009 and was ranked 12th in the nation. Held on August 3rd this year with more than 5,000 in attendance, the joint effort by city, police and fire officials aimed to enhance awareness around public safety issues. [caption id="attachment_67" align="alignright" width="240" caption="Berwyn fire officials interacted with the public during the side-by-side burn demonstration."][/caption] According to Berwyn Fire Chief Denis O’Halloran, media in attendance this year included ABC and FOX video crews and some local newspaper crews. He also mentions the importance of using these types of events to get the word out to the people that create laws and ordinances. Forty-six federal local, county, state and federal law enforcement and fire agencies were in attendance, and lawmakers in attendance included Congressman Dan Lipinski, State Representatives Martin Sandoval and Lisa Hernandez, Secretary of State Jesse White, and local aldermen. As one of the Home Fire Sprinkler Coalition’s Built For Life Fire Departments, the Berwyn Fire Department has made home fire sprinkler education a focus of its community outreach and chose to conduct a live side-by-side demonstration to display the effectiveness of fire sprinklers in controlling or extinguishing fires. While O’Halloran narrated the demonstration, others videotaped and posted the demonstration on YouTube (see video below). “On behalf of Mayor Lovero and the Berwyn fire and police departments, I would like to thank the Northern Illinois Fire Sprinkler Advisory Board (NIFSAB) for their assistance with the side-by-side burn demonstration,” says Fire Chief Denis O’Halloran. “We’ve always received positive comments from citizens and public officials regarding our demonstrations with NIFSAB.” O’Halloran notes that the fire department plans on using its new side-by-side units for quarterly demonstrations at local venues. “Our goal is to educate the public on fire sprinkler systems and, in the future, create local ordinances requiring them in our city to protect lives and property.” ]]>