Apple Butter Makin' Days 2013 Deployment

evought's picture

[Update 2013-10-10: A short article on our participation appears in the Lawrence County Record's Apple Butter Makin' Days publication, although there appears to be a small typo: our operational members number 13 at the moment, rather than 30.]
Apple Butter Makin' Days is Lawrence County's largest annual festival, held in Mount Vernon with attendance of approximately 25,000 people. The square and some adjacent areas will be blocked off for the vendor booths and a larger portion of downtown Mount Vernon for the parade, disrupting traffic patterns. In 2013, the festival will start 11 October, covering Friday, Saturday and Sunday. Vendors will start setting up and the square will initially be blocked off starting Thursday evening. Vendor booths and products will be on the square overnight Thursday, Friday, and Saturday. The parade will be from 09:00 to 12:00 on Saturday with preparations starting in the early morning hours. The Mount Vernon Police Department is the law enforcement agency with jurisdiction. MVPD has 10 officers at the moment which will be covering a much larger-than-routine situation, so the Auxiliary is offering much-appreciated support (doubling their available manpower).
The Sheriff's Office will have a public relations tent on the NE corner of the square. Ozarks Community Hospital (which many people still know as the Doctor's Hospital) will have a First Aid station on southeast side of the square (in front of their clinic). Lawrence County CERT (Community Emergency Response Team--- the folks in green hard hats) with a large contingent of volunteers will be working parade traffic control as usual this year and will have its field operations at the Church of Christ parking lot on Saturday. Visitors to the event may see our Sheriff's Auxiliary volunteers walking patrols during the day on Saturday; for most of the weekend, we won't be seen by visitors during daylight hours but we will still be there helping to protect the merchant booths and make sure that the event is a good experience for everyone.
Because we are not law enforcement, the Auxiliary will be primarily serving as additional eyes, ears, and radios for the local police. Our first aid training may also come into play in the event of any accidents or injuries while we are on duty, adding to the EMTs and ambulances which will also be present. Our volunteers have been conducting law enforcement ride-alongs in Mount Vernon  over the last couple of weeks (shadowing police officers as they go about their duties) in order to be able to better coordinate with them on patrol during the event weekend.  This event also gives us the opportunity to work out details of coordinating with CERT during the parade who we would also likely be working alongside in the event of actual disaster deployments.
Apple Butter Makin' Days is a prime example of the value of volunteers in Lawrence County which the public may not always appreciate: in addition to the emergency services volunteers like the Sheriff's Auxiliary, CERT, the county Assistant Emergency Management Director, the Ozarks Community Hospital workers, etc., volunteers will be staffing booths for the FFA, Cattleman's Association, the Lion's Club, and probably many more which I have forgotten. If Apple Butter Makin' Days is a showcase of the treasures of the Missouri Ozarks, is appropriate that active volunteerism--- people helping people--- is at the center of making the event possible.


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