Careers on Wheels rolls on

Published 12:53 am Tuesday, October 25, 2011

N.C. Highway Patrol Trooper B.L. Michael describes his career on wheels Friday morning at Eastern Elementary School in Washington. (WDN Photo/Jonathan Clayborne)

Who knew truck drivers could be rock stars?

That’s what some of them were Friday during Careers on Wheels at Eastern Elementary School in Washington.

The occasion was intended to furnish students with proof they can make a living from behind the wheel of a vehicle, and the target audience apparently got the message.

At one point, a heavy-equipment operator thrilled screaming youths with his skill at lifting logs with a huge mechanical claw.

The children’s shrieks of delight might have made out-of-sight listeners think a Wiggles concert was under way.

On campus were plenty of men and women who earn their bread and butter from the cabs of cars, trucks and other conveyances.

The array of drivers included representatives of the N.C. Highway Patrol, Washington Fire-Rescue-EMS Department, the Washington Police Department, Beaufort County Sheriff’s Office and more.

Under the direction of school staff and faculty, dozens of oohing-and-aahing youngsters filed from spot to spot, eyeing everything from a tractor to a bucket truck used by Washington Electric Utilities.

Among the presenters was Josh Ingram, an engineer with the fire department.

“Listen to your teachers, do good in school,” Ingram advised his audience while standing alongside a hook-and-ladder truck. “Straighten up every chance you get.”

This advice followed Ingram’s explanations of the tools of the trade firefighters keep on their trucks.

Careers on Wheels is an annual occurrence, and it has been a tradition at the school for eight years, related Sarah Hodges, spokeswoman for Beaufort County Schools.

“We have great community support for this event each year,” Hodges wrote in an email.