First responders, community organizations take part in touch-a-truck event

Horn blasts and police sirens livened the air at the Washington High School baseball field last Thursday afternoon as more than 100 children flocked to about a dozen emergency and public service vehicles that had gathered on the grass.

The touch-a-truck event, in which the children got to climb through the different trucks, speak with emergency personnel and get to see first hand how the equipment operated, was organized by CareerSource Gulf Coast as part of their annual summer leadership camp.

“We’ve been planning for about a month,” said Lianna Sagins,a special project coordinator at CareerSource. “Our community partners are really, really good, and everybody really stepped up to the plate.”

Sagins said this was the first time a touch-a-truck event had been held for the camp, though she was certain it wouldn’t be the last.

“This is the first year that I’ve planned a touch-a-truck event,” Sagins said. “We’ve done something public safety related every year for camp, but we typically just work with the Gulf County Sheriff’s Department.”

“We wanted to do something a little bit bigger this year.”

Participating in the event were representatives from the St. Joseph Bay Buffer Preserve, the Florida Fish and Wildlife Commission, the Highland View Volunteer Fire Department, the Gulf County Sheriff’s Office, the Port St. Joe Police Department, BCC Waste Solutions and Gulf County Emergency Medical Services. Tropical Paradise gave out shaved ice from their food truck.

Even as it began to drizzle, the campers enthusiastically climbed through ambulances, pet Elite the K9, and danced under a shower from a fire hose.

“I would like to thank all the public partners that took the time to volunteer and come out here to talk to the kids,” said Sagins, who expressed that the event had been a huge success, even with the rainy weather.

The camp, which is offered free of cost annually by CareerSource, runs from June to August every year. For more information, visit

Meet the Editor

David Adlerstein, The Apalachicola Times’ digital editor, started with the news outlet in January 2002 as a reporter.

Prior to then, David Adlerstein began as a newspaperman with a small Boston weekly, after graduating magna cum laude from Brandeis University in Waltham, Massachusetts. He later edited the weekly Bellville Times, and as business reporter for the daily Marion Star, both not far from his hometown of Columbus, Ohio.

In 1995, he moved to South Florida, and worked as a business reporter and editor of Medical Business newspaper. In Jan. 2002, he began with the Apalachicola Times, first as reporter and later as editor, and in Oct. 2020, also began editing the Port St. Joe Star.

Wendy Weitzel The Star Digital Editor

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