Davis County ARES (Amateur Radio Emergency Service) in conjunction with Weber County ARES provided Lost Child Services and support communications to Medical Aid Stations, and public safety command at the Air Show allowing non-critical traffic to be handled without clogging primary public safety frequencies.It was a great experience working in the field with the Amateur Radio Club too. Even though I've had experience with radios, I'm still a bit of a newbie on the amateur scene and this was my first chance to get to know some of the club members and get my hands dirty. I worried that I would be dead weight, but happily, I found that I already possessed many of the skills needed to make my presence helpful. Terminating ethernet, running IP scripts and a natural ability to communicate on the radio all came in handy. I fact, I blushed a bit when I appeared for my shift shift assignment the next day and was asked to be the senior member of the two man team at my station.
DC ARES handled 75 lost child (or lost adult) incidents, helped dispatch dozens of emergency medical assistance calls and provided an avenue for basic queries from the public. Over 350,000 people attended the air show on Saturday, June 28th. June 29th saw a smaller crowd of approximately 300,000.Thunderbirds in action. Emma was so amazed at the experience she went seeking autographs. She met up with two female Thunderbirds, one was #3, Major Jensen the other was Staff Sergeant Overton, the team's photojournalist. When she returned the last day to catch the show again, she was able to get signatures from all six pilots and several other Thunderbirds. I was happy that Emma had been given a chance to meet women who were achieving lofty goals and I hope it inspires her to do the same.
In the end, I was a bit exhausted but still sad to walk away from my post on the ramp. My preparation had paid off, the experience had been fruitful, I had a new confidence and the rewarding feeling of knowing that in a small way, my presence on the front line had been beneficial to the well being of my fellow citizens.
Links to related blog posts:
Air show related posts
Amateur radio posts