Well, it can’t be our June article without a summary of ARRL Field Day in Santa Rosa County. One thing we did differently this year is setup all our antennas and radios on Friday evening. Every year we would setup on Saturday morning but, with the heat, we were always spent by the time the event started so this was a welcome change.
For Field Day this year, we once again partnered with other volunteer organizations that support Santa Rosa County to have them to join us in showcasing what we do for the community. We setup with numerous booths and our EOC’s Mobile Command Post and our ARES communications trailer. The purpose behind this is not only to interact with the community but to also allow the various organizations to interact with each other. National organizations included the Red Cross and United Way and local organizations including CERT, SAFER Santa Rosa, and Legal Services of North Florida.
We kicked off our official “public” event at 1:00P to coincide with the start of Field Day but the weather had other plans in mind. Unfortunately, our event was cut short when a massive severe thunderstorm moved through the area. Thankfully we had made the decision to “call the event” in time for most of the partner organizations to get their booths broken down ahead of the storm. We lost around 5 hours of on-air time due to the severe weather that moved in.
Before the storms moved in, we did have the opportunity to provide meals to all the first responders and dispatchers that were on duty and had the chance to stop by. We fully believe in ARES being an outreach opportunity and each team of first responders that stopped by took the time to visit all the booths and our communications trailers to see what we do for the community. Thanks to all those who put their lives on the line to serve our communities!