By allowing ads to appear on this site, you support the local businesses who, in turn, support great journalism.
Touch-a-truck connects kids to a community of vehicles
Raegan Ketch learns how to control a Bobcat at Hoisingtons Touch-a-Truck event Saturday morning. - photo by VERONICA COONS, Great Bend Tribune

“We’ve taken our helicopter to events like this before, where its usually medical or law enforcement vehicles,” said Randy Blaumenhorst, flight nurse with Lifeteam Critical Transport. “This is really something though, to have vehicles from every part of life for the kids to explore.”
He’s describing the Touch-a-Truck event that started Saturday morning at the Hoisington Activity Center.  It was just one of the offerings available for families to share at the Hoisington Labor Day Weekend Celebration.  The theme this year is “Connecting our Community,” and the Touch-a-Truck event did just that.  Kids had a chance to crawl in and out of vehicles they see everyday on the streets and roads around the community, including police trucks, fire trucks, buses and heavy equipment, as well as the lesser-often seen ones like bucket-trucks, helicopters and oil trucks.  It was a real hands-on experience, with adult supervision there to make sure all was safe, but no-holds-barred on pushing buttons and levers.  But that wasn’t all.  There was a mobile dairy truck, featuring a live demonstration of commercial milk production with the help of jersey cow “Jitterbug.” One man, Eric Schneiweiss, even brought his race car for kids to try their hand at being part of a pit crew.  He had his air gun set up so they could remove and replace lug nuts.  And the Golden Belt Humane Society was on hand with the Animal Control truck, so kids could pretend they were a stray animal and climb in and out of the truck.  
The Hoisington Volunteer Fire Department and EMS even performed a “jaws -of-life” demonstration, where they removed a patient from a wrecked car and secured him on a backer board for transport in an ambulance.  Kids watched with rapt attention as the fire crew, in full gear, hooked up air tools and pried apart the hinges on the door, broke pins, and finally removed the driver’s side door.  Later, they demonstrated how the saws can cut through the reinforced steel of a car in severe cases.  
Beeping horns, blasting sirens, and use of loudspeakers never ceased to delight.  But by noon, it was over, not to return for another year.