Hamvention Setting Space Aside to Spotlight Emergency Communication Vehicles

In keeping with its theme, “Serving the Community,” Hamvention® 2018 is offering an opportunity for Amateur Radio groups to display the communication vehicles they use to serve their communities. A special area has been set aside at the Greene County Fairgrounds and Expo Center for emergency communication trailers, vans, trucks, and other vehicles. Hamvention organizers are hoping that emergency response groups such as ARES, RACES, CERT, and others with an interest in Amateur Radio emergency communication will take advantage.

“The displays will allow groups planning to develop their own units to get suggestions and ideas and ask questions of those supporting the vehicles,” Hamvention said in announcing the special display area. Groups planning to display vehicles are encouraged to have them staffed, functional, and able to demonstrate their capabilities during Hamvention.

Gary Hollenbaugh, NJ8BB, who has coordinated Hamvention emergency communication vehicle displays for 10 years, said that many groups are thinking about building units and could gain some beneficial ideas from seeing what other organizations have done. He encouraged teams to make information about their units available to share with visitors.

Hollenbaugh, who shares EmComm organization duties at Hamvention with Mike Crawford, KC8GLE, and serves as an assistant to the ARES Section Emergency Coordinator for Ohio, said he’s looking for innovative solutions. Past displays have ranged from a pop-up tent at the rear of a pickup truck to complex RV-based vehicles. Groups that want to participate can obtain more information on the Hamvention website’s EmComm page.

During Hamvention, emergency communicators also will have an opportunity to attend more than 10 forums dealing with public service. Those attending at least three ARRL-sponsored public service forums will receive a certificate. One session will offer attendees a chance to hear firsthand reports from radio amateurs who served in Puerto Rico after the hurricanes this past year.

“Our theme recognizes the valuable service that Amateur Radio provides to our communities,” Hamvention General Chair Ron Cramer, KD8ENJ, said. “We hope the EmComm display and forums provide valuable information we can all use to be better prepared for that service.”

Hamvention 2018 will take place May 18 – 20 at the Greene County Fairgrounds and Expo Center in Xenia, Ohio.