Tuesday afternoon, the Post Road Library parking lot was crowded with emergency vehicles, heavy machinery and excited families ready to explore and touch the trucks that every child seems to be curious about.
This was the fifth annual Touch a Truck event to be held at the Post Road Library, and according to Lisa Echols, youth services supervisor at the branch, the event gets better every year as more people hear about it and come to join in the fun.
“Kids absolutely love trucks, so we are giving them a great place so they can come and explore … and it’s a great time for us to laud all the things that all our emergency response folks do here in Forsyth County,” Echols said.
During the event, kids and parents were able to get up close and personal with a Forsyth County Sheriff’s Office patrol vehicle, crisis management van, and SWAT Bearcat armored personnel carrier, as well as a Forsyth County Fire engine, a backhoe from Reid and Reid Construction, ambulance and large semi-truck.
This year, more than 700 people attended the two-hour event.
“Every year, these guys come out and bring an assortment of awesome vehicles for us. Then, the children get to come, explore inside, sit in the cabs, honk the horns,” Echols said looking out at the crowd.
She said events like the annual Touch a Truck are important because it gets people out into the community and teaches them a little about the different county services and their vehicles.
“It’s not often that you get all of these awesome emergency vehicles and the folks together in a safe situation, so this is a place for all the children in Forsyth County to see all that the police officers are doing, that the firefighters are doing and get to meet them,” she said.
According to Cpl. Page Cash with the Forsyth County Sheriff’s Office, it is important for the agency to participate in events like Touch a Truck, because it builds relationships within the community and interacts with children in a positive way.
“We are trying to build that positive role model relationship with them. We want them to be able to trust us, and as [kids] grow older we hope that they look to us and are not afraid of us,” Cash said.
Cash said it also gives law enforcement another chance to talk with parents and inform them about how they can vigilant for crime within the community.
“Because as an agency we can’t do this job on our own, we need our citizens to be our eyes and our ears, so that when they see something they’ll say something,” she said.