CONTACT: Julie Willmot
(609) 278-7137

TRENTON, N.J. -Whether looking out from the cab of a massive dump truck, or running your hands along the claw of a tough bulldozer, Mercer County Improvement Authority's annual "Touch-A-Truck'' event offers children of all ages an opportunity to connect with the vehicles that get the job done. The 5th Annual Touch-A-Truck will be Saturday, Oct. 18, 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., outdoors at Sovereign Bank Arena.

In addition to fire trucks, ambulances, loaders, garbage trucks, mail trucks -- just some of the dozens of vehicles that will be on display - this year's event offers the public its first look at Mercer County's brand new Mobile Command Vehicle. Mercer County Executive Brian M. Hughes and Mercer County Sheriff Kevin C. Larkin invite the public to tour the mobile unit. The vehicle, which was acquired this past spring, allows seamless communication between police, fire, and EMS from around the County at the scene of a major incident. It also creates a command post where the Mercer County Sheriff's Office and the County Emergency Communications staff can operate and provide all the same services at a scene as they could from the Communications Center in Lawrence.

The vehicle is under the command of Sheriff Larkin and will be utilized by the Sheriff as needed. It was outfitted by Emergency Communications with highly technical equipment such as the latest radios and computers and a roof-mounted video camera. The radios are uniquely designed to allow all responders to communicate on one frequency, a capability known as "interoperability." The portable nature of the vehicle also means communications can be directed and unified at the scene of an incident, allowing the County Emergency Communications Center in Lawrence to handle other calls and incidents as they occur.

In addition, the Office of Mercer County Sheriff Larkin will set up a fingerprinting table for parents who would like to have a record of their child's prints. "Having a record of a child's fingerprint gives us one more tool to assist in finding a child unharmed should something happen to them," Larkin said.

The family-friendly event will be held rain or shine. County employees and owners of area companies will display their polished vehicles and will be on hand to answer questions-and to allow children to climb in or on their vehicles.

Touch-A-Truck will also feature a food court, face painter and special visitors "Bob the Builder," "Boomer" of Trenton Thunder, "Scorch" of the Trenton Devils, "Recycler" the Robot of Waste Management, and "Will U. Recycle" of the MCIA.

Sponsors of the event are: Central Jersey Waste & Recycling, Construction Industry Advancement Program of New Jersey, Hawk's Towing, Joseph Jingoli and Son, Inc., New Jersey Education Association, Matrix, Mercer Group International, Laborers Local 172 of South Jersey, Sovereign Bank Arena, Waters & Bugbee, Inc., and Waste Management.

For more information, please contact Brenda Ricci at (609) 278-8100.