O.M.E.G.A. works closely with local Amateur Radio Emergency Service (ARES) groups. We have a number of shared members and many times we support one another at training, special activities and deployments. The world of emergency response is one where things happen quickly and resources are inadvertently very limited. It is very important for us to work closely with other local response teams to develop relationships and form bonds before disasters happen.
Every summer during the Arapahoe County Fair, Arapahoe County ARES works closely with the Arapahoe County Sheriff’s Office and the Cunningham Fire Protection District to provide communications and safety patrols for the large event. This year we had an opportunity to work with Arapahoe ARES in support of the 2010 Arapahoe County Fair.
The Arapahoe County Fair runs Wednesday through Sunday the last week of July and attracts upwards of ten thousand people each day during the weekdays and well over that number on the weekend. It features a carnival, live entertainment, exhibits, contests, rodeo, a tractor pull and, the highlight of the show, a demolition derby, on Sunday afternoon. The job is fairly easy. Personnel monitor the fairgrounds and provide information back to the command post. Requests for maintenance, paramedics or law enforcement are routed to the command post and are dispatched to the required location.
It’s a good bet that with as much activity as the fair sees, there will be lost kids, overzealous revelers and inadvertent injuries. Our responsibility was to patrol the fairgrounds, identify problems and deliver the appropriate solution to the situation being addressed. We worked the fair with members of ARES and CERT and had to address one or two injuries per night, as well as random lost kids and weather concerns.
The 2010 fair was a successful event for us. It was part training and part real life response and most importantly, we reaffirmed our relationship with Arapahoe County ARES.