Most are used to seeing WVEMD during emergencies, but the WVEMD does much more than respond to disasters. WVEMD also assists in planning and coordinating large events like the World Association of Marching Show Bands (WAMSB) World Championship, held this year from July 17- July 24 in the City of Buckhannon, Upshur County.
Returning to the US for the first time in six years and held for the first time on the East Coast, the 2023 World Championship is comprised of 32 nations representing 24 band associations, staff, and spectators. To assure the security and safety of participants, attendees, and the communities surrounding the event, the WVEMD collaborated closely with partners and event organizers to establish comprehensive safety protocols and emergency response strategies.
"We are honored to play a crucial role in ensuring the safety and success of the World Association of Marching and Show Bands Competition," said WVEMD Director GE McCabe. "Our team has been working to develop plans, coordinate communication among local authorities and event staff, and implement safety measures. By doing so, we aim to provide a secure environment for participants and spectators alike."
To support communication for the event, WVEMD is using the Statewide Interoperable Radio Network (SIRN) which allows all event staff to communicate using a closed radio channel. SIRN staff will be on site throughout the festival to operate the trunked radio system and ensure connectivity. A trunked radio system uses a pool of channels to automatically switch users to an open channel and maintain connectivity. In addition to communication support, WVEMD's Regional Liaison Officers are on site for the duration of the event to provide immediate support as needed.
As the championships begin, the WVEMD remains committed to upholding the highest standards of safety, preparedness, and emergency management. Through collaborative efforts, the WVEMD and event organizers aim to create an exceptional, connected and secure environment where the talents of marching and show bands can be celebrated.
For more information on the West Virginia Emergency Management Division, please visit https://emd.wv.gov.
Photos courtesy mybuckhannon.com.