ARRL Field Day, always the 4th full weekend in June is fast approaching. Starting at 19:00UTC on Saturday June 23, 2012 and running for 24 hours, over 10,000 amateur radio operators in the US and Canada will be on the air looking for contacts. Field Day is a big event and just about every amateur radio operator has some sort of field day story to tell.
I’ve been active with our club’s Field Day Activities since I attended my first Field Day in 2000. This year we are doing things a little bit different. Field Day will not only be in a new location, but we are also hosting a big public activity along with our field Day operations. This Saturday the Wisconsin Valley Radio Association is holding its first Emergency Preparedness Expo and Field Day Event.
We’ll be on the air like we normally are during field day, but to get the public interested in emergency communications we are also bringing in community groups and public safety agencies that we provide communications support to. Marathon County Emergency Management is bringing the bomb squad truck and mobile Incident Command. Fire Departments are showing off their equipment, the Red Cross and Salvation Army are having displays; SKYWARN groups are showing their mobile weather stations and the local tv stations and National Weather Service office will host presentations on severe weather and safety. It should be a great time an we’re hoping for great turnout.
On the amateur radio side of things, our club is activating the callsign W9NA for Field Day weekend. Originally held by Reno Goetsch, the callsign was transferred to the club after he passed away in 2005. Reno was a lifetime member of the WVRA, signing the original club charter in 1934 at the young age of 19. Ever since he was not only active on the air, but also with club, traffic handling, DX and emergency communications. I met Reno late in his life as the club presented him with a lifetime achievement award, but he’s one of those people I wish I knew at an earlier age. None the less, knowing the history of Reno, it’s a great honor to be able to use the W9NA for this weekend.
I hope to hear you on the air, and if you do catch W9NA, be sure to QSL the WVRA for a limited edition card commemorating our Field Day event.