Tons of Trucks and Teachable Moments in Rochester Hills

Tons of Trucks and Teachable Moments in Rochester Hills

(Crystal A. Proxmire, May 21, 2017)

Rochester Hills, MI – Megan Mendyka and her family have been living in Rochester Hills for only two years, but they are in love with the community.  Five year old Conner and two year old Cameron had fun checking out the rescue vehicles and DPS equipment at Saturday’s Tons of Trucks Day.

“The big reason we moved here is there are so any family events.  The community is really family-friendly, lots of events and parks,” Mendyka said.

Tons of Trucks took place a Borden Park with hundreds of families there to learn, explore and play.  Kids were able to climb inside bulldozers, backhoes, sewer cleaning vehicles, firetrucks, and even the Oakland County Sheriff’s Department’s SWAT team vehicle.

Conner was fond of the firetruck.  “They make the siren go, and we get out of the way,” he said.

Light Equipment Operator Brian Vermander showed people how water meters work, including the difference between the two types of meters residents might have as they system is being upgraded.  “All our meters are digital,” Vermander said.  “The system is drive by. When the vehicle goes down the street, it sends a signal to the meters and the meters send a signal back with the water usage data. It’s a very fast way of reading the meters.”

The new meters allow more water flow into the homes, by about ten gallons.  They store the data for up to 60 days.  And if someone has an unusually high bill, a technician can come out and plug a computer into the reader and get a breakdown of usage in two hour increments.

Jeff Fox, General Foreman for the Roads Department and his crew enjoyed being able to connect with residents.  “Kids, and adults too, come out when we’re working, and we try to explain what’s going on. We’re friendly with them, but we’re also working and trying to get the job done so there’s not as much time to talk.  Here we’ve got more time, kids can see up close and ask questions of us.”

It’s also good for the Fire Department.  Lt. Inspector Ann Echols was among the firefighters showing kids around the big red ladder engine.  “Community risk reduction is a big part of what we do. We want residents to know about fire safety and preventing accidents and injuries,” she said.  Among the outreach efforts are a fall prevention workshop for seniors, first aid and CPR training and fire extinguisher training.

Echols has been with the department for ten years, and never gets tired of meeting the families in Rochester Hills at events like Ton of Trucks.  “We love meeting people.  Usually if they see us it’s on bad days.  So we like to see them on days like this where everything is good.”

Learn more about the City of Rochester Hills at http://www.rochesterhills.org/.

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