Kids get close up look at big machines

Published 6:49 pm Monday, November 4, 2019

A plethora of flashing lights and sirens signaled fun, not an emergency, at the George Harris Baseball Complex on Saturday.

Troup County’s Touch-A-Truck and Big Machines event attracted a steady flow of children and parents to the recreation area, where they had the chance to get an up close look at a variety of vehicles, including a helicopter.

“We just felt like it was important to show our citizens the resources that are available to them on a regular day’s basis and [take the] opportunity to showcase the everyday heroes of our community,” said Troup County Manager Eric Mosley. “I’m very pleased to see the wonderful interagency turnout. We’ve got local resources. We’ve got the Georgia State Patrol, Georgia DNR, Georgia Forestry Commission. You’ve got federal resources — the [U.S. Army] Corps of Engineers. You’ve got private resources like AMR, the helicopter and obviously, our local partners with the sheriff’s office, our fire department, roads and engineering, parks and recreation.”

For many of the emergency personnel at the event, Saturday was a rare chance to talk to children about their jobs outside of emergency situations.

“It is really good to be able to interact with them and just show them that it can look kind of scary and intimidating, especially from a distance, but with them being able to come up and touch it in a non-stressful situation, I think it really makes an impact on them and helps lessen the anxiety that they may feel if they see it again,” said Lance Blythe, a NRP flight paramedic for Life Evac Lifeteam.

The event also provided an opportunity for the agencies to educate young citizens on safety and what to do in case of an emergency.

“We enjoy getting out here and interacting with the community and making sure that folks know how to call 911 and what information we need, especially with the young [attendees],” said Jason Lawson, Troup County E-911 Director. 

Lawson said it is important for children to know their address, their name and their parent’s names when they call 911.

Mosley said the event was made possible through the efforts of Citizen Engagement Specialist Rachel Camp and the support of the Troup County Board of Commissioners.