PENDLETON — Joseph and Charlotte Shultz of Anderson and their children, Mia, 6, and Sofia, 3, came to Pendleton on Sunday to visit Falls Park.
Then an IU Health LifeLine helicopter came swooping in.
“We were over at the park and we saw the helicopter land,” Joseph said. “We came over here to see why it was over here.”
That’s how the Shultz family came to be with hundreds of other visitors to Public Safety Day at South Madison Fire Territory Station 81, 100 S. Broadway St.
The station was open with a variety of fire trucks and rescue vehicles on display, activities for children, K-9 demonstrations, free K-Burgers provided by Pendleton Kiwanis Club, a Garners Towing monster truck, and of course, the visit by the helicopter, which landed in the parking lot behind the station.
Karri Low of Pendleton — who attended the event with son Sawyer, 6, daughter Laney, 2, and sister Kim Sanders — said Sawyer would especially enjoy it.
“He loves monster trucks and firetrucks, so it’s a perfect event,” she said, while passing a monster truck suspended in the air on Broadway Street, at the south end of the event area.
Public Safety Day is an annual event during which area firefighters, paramedics, law enforcement and other related agencies conduct demonstrations and answer questions from the public, while providing an opportunity for families to have a good time.
In addition to IU Health LifeLine and the local fire territory, other participating agencies included Pendleton Police Department, Madison County Sheriff’s Department, Madison County Central Dispatch (911 Call Center) and Madison County Emergency Management.
Lapel Stony Creek Township Fire Territory brought vehicles for display.
“What I like about it, first of all, is to thank them for their service,” said Pamela Beeler of Pendleton, who was there with family, including grandson Adler Clendenen.
Beeler said she’s attended the event in prior years, “honestly, for the K-Burgers.”
Guest of Honor at the event was Garrett Imel, 12, who, along with parents Heather and Jason, brought “Garrett’s Famous Lemonade” stand, which raises money for charity.
Garrett first had the idea to sell lemonade when he was 4, Jason Imel said. It has grown from selling a single pitcher during a garage sale to using a mobile stand that holds 22 gallons at several events per year.
Funds have gone to a variety of causes throughout the years, Jason Imel said. The proceeds from Sunday’s event will be split between two non-profit organizations — Curing Kids Cancer, which according to its website is “dedicated to funding cutting-edge treatments of childhood cancers,” and Hoosier Burn Camp, which on its website states it’s “committed to providing life-changing experiences for young people who have suffered the physical and emotional trauma associated with a severe burn injury.”
Six motorcyclists from Indiana Patriot Guard Riders Inc. rode from northern Indiana to Pendleton to show their support for Garrett, South Madison Fire Territory Chief Chris Nodine said, and local fire department members collected donations at the intersection of Pendleton Avenue and State Street.
In total, about $3,000 was raised for the two charities, Nodine said.
Also during Public Safety Day, Ascension St. Vincent Trauma Center passed out bicycle helmets, State Farm/Amy Turner had a table where fire prevention material was available, and Friends of the Pendleton Community Library was selling rubber duck entries for its upcoming Lucky Duck Race, which supports, among other things, local library programming.
“SMFT would like to give a huge thank you to everyone who came out to Public Safety Day today!” Nodine posted on the department’s Facebook page after the event. “Couldn’t have asked for better weather or a better turn out. We hope you all had as much fun as we did. Can’t wait to do it again next year.”
Nodine said he estimates about 1,000 attended Public Safety Day this year.
It’s an estimate based in part on the number of K-Burgers that were cooked — 800 — and the fact that most of them were gone by the end.