• Last modified 634 days ago (Sept. 19, 2019)


Helicopter causes stir with children
at Big Truck Night

Staff writer

Children and their parents streamed down the hill toward the helicopter, which sat waiting on the football field at Hillsboro Elementary.

Thursday was the 15th annual Big Truck Night, but Salina’s LifeSave helicopter stole the show.

Even adults were excited to see the helicopter make the trip, said Susie Kliewer, Parents as Teachers coordinator.

“When I called the fire department to see if they could work with the helicopter to set up a landing zone they were very excited,” she said. “People just enjoy it.

“When we say helicopter, a lot of the dads light up.”

The event was geared toward children younger than six, but Kurt Fistler said it was fun for everyone.

“It’s an attraction for everyone of all ages,” he said. “I think everyone likes seeing big trucks.”

In addition to the helicopter, families could take their pick of 17 other vehicles to get inside, including fire trucks, several city trucks, and a tractor-trailer.

There were also corn and rice pits for sensory play, tractor tires to climb on, and information booths for parents.

The sky looked cloudy at times, but fortunately, the event only had to be rescheduled once, Kliewer said.

“Rescheduling is a nightmare,” she said. “I’m not sure what we would have done if we had to cancel. We may not have rescheduled, which would have been sad.”

PAT has the easiest time pulling people from Hillsboro, since the organization is based at the elementary school, Kliewer said.

“We’re housed in Hillsboro, so we know more people,” she said. “We know who’s pregnant and who has kids.”

The event helps acclimate children with different vehicles, said Fistler who has been attending the event for five years with his son.

“It helps them get comfortable with equipment,” he said.

Last modified Sept. 19, 2019