When the Fair Oaks Fire Department began thinking about a fundraiser, Ken Condit was looking for ways to bring the guys together for a time that didn’t involve fighting fires.
“I want them to come together and have some fun. If we raise a few bucks, that would be great,” said Condit, a committee member and a firefighter for 35 years.
That’s how the idea for the Touch-a-Truck event was born. The Fair Oaks Fire Department is sponsoring Saturday's inaugural event on the grounds of the Watson Institute in Leet Township. The fundraiser will help the department purchase some much needed firefighting equipment.
“We’ve been working on this June” said Condit. “It’s a great event, this is really a fun event. It’s designed to get kids familiar with things they see in the neighborhood and allow them to have fun.”
The hands-on, interactive event introduces the community up to more than 30 types of vehicles.
Attendees will be able to meet the vehicle owners and operators as well as have the opportunity to sit in the driver’s seat to understand what the equipment is used for.
Condit attended a couple of past Touch-a-Truck events, including one in Mars about a year ago and the Junior League of Pittsburgh, which drew about 2,700 people in May. The Junior League of Pittsburgh helped the Fair Oaks department in the early planning stages of this event.
Fire demonstrations will take place in honor of the upcoming fire safety week. Twenty active members on the Fair Oaks department are helping with the event. An additional 20 Robert Morris University students are volunteering with the daylong event.
All the Quaker Valley fire departments will be represented at the event. Each department was asked to bring a specific vehicle.
Without the generosity of sponsors, volunteers and especially the Watson Institute lending its grounds and HealthSouth lending its parking space, Condit said the event would not have been possible.
"Its really been a nice outpouring of sponsorship," he said.
If you Go
When/Where: 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday at Watson Institute, at 301 Camp Meeting Road.
What You'll Find: Attendees will have an opportunity to take a ride in an actual fire engine. Vehicles will also be on display, including military, and general delivery trucks on display. The first hour is horn and siren free.
Activities: Free games, a Bouncy house, raffles and giveaways, interactive safety displays and refreshments for purchase. A Stat-Medi-Vac helicopter will make a special landing and there will be fire demonstrations in honor of the upcoming fire safety week.
Cost: $5 per person and kids under 2 are free. A $1 off coupon is available on the event website. Families pay $20. Visitors will also have the opportunity to ride a red or white fire truck for just $1.
Trucks to Touch: Construction equipment such as an excavator, dump truck, road grader, back hoe, concrete mixer, high lift and Bob Cat; municipal equipment such as a refuse collector, street sweeper, natural gas service truck, propane delivery tanker, school bus; and emergency equipment such as police cars, ambulance, a rescue a ladder truck, heavy rescue, tele-squirt, engines and specialized equipment.
Parking: You'll find plenty of free parking at the Health South Sewickley parking lot. Free shuttle service as well as handicap parking is available.