Non-emergency ARES/RACES training net
Its been a busy summer 2018 for Wood County AREs/RACES.
In May, Some members participated in Operation Dark Sky as emergency communicators in the Wisconsin State Emergency Operations center, over a three day period.
June brought final preparations for weather observation and storm spotting for Wisconsin Farm Technology Days. Another communications exercise at the Wisconsin State Emergency Operations Center. And planning and deployment for ARRL’s Field Day in which we deployed our amateur radio emergency set-ups at our partner United Emergency Medical Response and tested them over a 24 hour period .
Also in June, some members assisted the Wisconsin Rapids Police Department with installation of new communications infrastructure on the city’s water towers.
In July we assisted Adams County ARES/RACES with their 4th of July Parade traffic control. In the evening we assisted the Wisconsin Rapids Police Department with crowd observation and safety.
We deployed for 3 days, July 10th-12th to Marshfield, WI. for Wisconsin Farm Technology Days.
This was a coordination of our full ARES/RACES group along with members of the Wisconsin Rapids Amateur Radio Club and the Marshfield Area Amateur Radio Society, in conjunction with Wood County Emergency Management, the National Weather Service, Baron Threat Net, the American Red Cross, the Wood County Sheriff’s Department, the Marshfield Fire Department and the Marshfield Medical Center.
Approximately 20,000 people per day visited the site which was located in an area of just over 1 square mile including a 60 acre tent city. You can imagine what threats lightning, wind, hail and heavy rain can bring to such an outdoor event. We managed to stay ahead of the weather with spotters on locations 25 miles out from the event site.
Another deployment to the State Emergency Operations Center on July 17th.
Additional communications infrastructure work for the Wisconsin Rapids Police Department and planning for an ARES/RACES radio at the Emergency Operations Centers at the Wisconsin Rapids Fire Department, the Nekoosa Public Safety Building, the Wood County Health Department and a remodeled Wood County Emergency Management.
Wood County ARES/RACES also assisted North Central Community Action and the United Way of Wood and Adams County, with their Point in Time homeless count on July 25th.
Many unaccounted hours of planning dating back to over a year, has gone into this summer’s events, and between events, preparation of radios, go kits, antenna mount builds, and equipment requisition by individuals had kept everyone busy.
August brings yet more planning for our upcoming October 6th Simulated Emergency Test for WI ARES/RACES, a September tabletop exercise with Wood County Emergency Management and the annual Halloween Patrol on October 31st.
That takes us to the holiday season and our annual Christmas Party in December.
Also mixed between all of these events is membership training, volunteer examiner testing sessions, administrative paperwork, FaceBook and website updates & radio programming.
As you have no doubt noticed, this is all only possible with teamwork! Wood County ARES/RACES has an excellent group of selfless individuals who really step up when needed. But I also need to point out that number of individuals from Portage County ARES/RACES have been full participants as well. Portage County ARES/RACES has been in the process of rebuilding. In the mean time, many members joined our group until Portage County becomes active again. Credit where credit is due! Thank you, folks! And thank you all for your service to the community and to our served partners!