SWAPTOBERFEST IS SATURDAY, OCTOBER 15TH, 2016 AT THE POLK COUNTY FAIRGROUNDS.
For over 20 years, Swaptoberfest has been brought to you by the four ARES units in the mid Willamette Valley – Yamhill, Polk, Marion and Oregon Emergency Management.
Swapmeets are great, and this one has been very popular. But, after the last one, we got to thinking….
Since it’s sponsored by Amateur Radio Emergency Service groups,, shouldn’t it really have an Emergency Service flavor?
Yeah, that makes sense, doesn’t it!!
Then we got to thinking further……
There’s a blurring line between ARES and other similar organizations like CERT and Search and Rescue. It’s not at all unusual for hams to be a part of several different groups, but all with a similar nature – volunteer emergency services. And it’s real common for members of non-ham volunteers in other emergency service organizations to want to get their ham licenses.
So there’s a real commonality of interest among the various groups.
So, we transforming!
Swaptoberfest – the ham radio swap meet is becoming
Swaptoberfest – the Volunteer Emergency Services Fair and Ham Radio Swapmeet.
Yes, the ham radio swap meet will still be a featured part. That’s our roots; that’s where we came from, and many hams who aren’t involved in ARES or other such groups come to look for treasures. It’s not changing.
But there’s going to be so much more…….
Emergency Service Seminars
To make it of more value to those who are involved in ARES or CERT or SAR, we’re adding seminars throughout the day. Both the 4-h building and the Arts and Crafts building in back of the main arena are going to be reserved for presentations, programs and training. We’ll have somewhere between 8 and 12 seminars each year when we finish the transition – all selected especially for those interested in or involved in emergency services activities. Some will be ARES specific, some will be of general interest to anyone who puts themselves out there to serve their community in times of emergency.
Emergency Service and Disaster Readiness Vendors
We’re adding vendors who provide items of interest to those who respond in a disaster or an emergency. Again, some may be communications specific; some may be of general interest to anyone who puts themselves out there to help their community in times of need. And some may be especially aimed at getting your own family ready to survive when the big one hits.
Communications Van Display
We’re also inviting anyone who has a comm van to bring it and put it on display. There are a lot of very well equipped vans, trailers and other vehicles out there, and chances are you’ll be interested in seeing them all.
Watch this website for more details as we get them in place.
Volunteer Emergency Services Blog
Oh, and we’re planning on using this blog for more than just event information for Swaptoberfest. We’ll be posting items of interest to volunteer emergency responders here as well. Articles either written specifically for this site, or even reposting of other articles (with permission of course).
You can subscribe to the site and we’ll let you know when something new of interest is out there to read.
Lots of changes, but we think the VOAD organizations and volunteers in Oregon deserve something special, aimed specifically at their needs.