Touch-A-Truck Day a family event set in Pine
By Deborah Deasy
Published: Wednesday, Oct. 2, 2013, 9:00 p.m.
Step into the big, black rolling command post of the North Hills Special Response Team.
A cement truck, farm tractor and tree pruner also will be available for close inspection — courtesy of Frankenstein Builders Supply, Wexford Farms and Arborel Tree Service — during Touch-A-Truck Day from 1 to 3:30 p.m. Oct. 5 at the Pine Community Center.
Admission is $3 or free for children ages 11 and younger.
“It's a great event ... It's very impressive,” said Capt. John Sicilia Jr. of the Northern Regional Police Force. “My family comes. … The kids enjoy it.”
Chief organizer Heidi McMurry expects 25 to 30 trucks at the annual event, including an ambulance from the McCandless-Franklin Park Ambulance Authority, a fire truck from the Wexford Fire Department, a U.S. Postal Service truck, and a Monarch school bus.
“Most of the vehicles are very hands-on,” McMurry said. “The school bus is really nice for the little ones who have older siblings going off to school. … They get to go in and look around.”
Refreshments will be available, along with the bouncy Skid Loader inflatable.
“Every year, we have it. Kids really enjoy it,” said McMurry about the inflatable attraction.
Sicilia — also commander of the North Hills Special Response Team — plans to accompany one of the team's all-purpose, special weapons and tactics — SWAT — trucks to Touch-A-Truck Day.
“You can get in it and look at all their equipment,” McMurry said.
“It's very popular.”
The SWAT vehicle routinely carries helmets and weapons for officers dispatched to situations ranging from major traffic accidents to standoffs with hostage takers.
“It's basically a utility vehicle ... You can carry a lot of equipment in it,” Sicilia said. “The SWAT officers all keep their gear in there — tactical vests, helmets, radios.
“On Touch-A-Truck Day, we won't have any weapons in there, but typically, there would be weapons,” Sicilia said. “Our snipers keep all their equipment in there.”
Representatives of Ibis Tek of Middlesex Township, Butler County — outfitter for the SWAT vehicle — will present an AM General Humvee — an HMMWV, or “high mobility multipurpose wheeled vehicle” — at the event. The vehicle features a bulletproof windshield made by Ibis Tek.
“We are the largest ballistic glass manufacturer for the U.S. Department of Defense,” said Sean Boyle of Plum, a sales manager for Ibis Tek.
About 300 people annually attend Touch-A-Truck Day.
“It's definitely one of our top family events of the year,” McMurry said. “When the trucks leave, it's really a sight to see. It's really fun to watch them all caravan out.”
The Pine Community Center is at 100 Pine Park Drive. For information on Touch-A-Truck Day, call 724-625-1636, ext. 3.
Deborah Deasy is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. She can be reached at 724-772-6369 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
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