Gerry Dalton loves helping to keep North Texans safe. He's not a police officer or a firefighter. He's a R.A.C.E.S. operator: a trained storm spotter with the Radio Amateur Civil Emergency Service.
Gerry works part-time for the city of Fort Worth in the fire department and Office of Emergency Management. Gerry's a full-time volunteer storm spotter. During Mayfest, he's the R.A.C.E.S. liaison.
This is the 47th year for the four-day family fun festival on the banks of the Trinity River in Fort Worth. Gerry and R.A.C.E.S. storm spotters will be on site in a trailer watching the weather to keep Mayfest goers safe. They did that in 2016 when they spotted a pop-up storm.
Their facts informer Mayfest organizers who decided to evacuate the 33-acre park. With that 15-minute warning, everyone was out or sheltered in place and there were no injuries. It was a far cry from the 1995 hailstorm at Mayfest that injured more than 100 people and caused $1.6 billion in damage. The next year Fort Worth's Office of Emergency Management asked R.A.C.E.S. to be on site for Mayfest and they've been there ever since.
Gerry is proud of the 215 active R.A.C.E.S. volunteers who go into harm's way when weather breaks to report ground truth to keep North Texans safe.
The 47th Mayfest runs from May 2-5. FOX4 is a sponsor. You can get all kinds of Mayfest 2019 info at www.mayfest.org.