Friday, June 24, 2011

FOMC- Mayor's Conference & Maintenance

On Saturday, June 18th, 2001, there was a special event going on at Fort Mchenry- the Mayor's Conference. This year, the annual conference was held at Fort Mchenry National Park with a total of about 1,000 guests, mayors and their families. This event was really interesting to be a part of! I actively played multiple roles during the event, all of which were geared specifically to visitor and resource protection. I started out by working with the parking crew to smoothly direct visitors to the overflow parking lot and to parking outside the main gate. We reserved excess parking in the main lot for individuals with disabilities who possessed special parking placards or registration plates. I also assisted with ensuring that all visitors not a part of the Mayor's Conference to leave the park by 8pm, normal park closing hours. Once this was completed I was assigned to stand at the rope line, which I previously helped set up during my stay in maintenance. My role at the rope line was essential to visitor protection from the scheduled fireworks. I stood at the rope line and secured the area, while also getting an awesome front row seat for the fireworks. Everything was successful. My last major visitor protection role was to help ensure pedestrian safety once the event was over and the mayors and their families were returning to the buses. We kept pedestrians on the sidewalks at all times, except for when they were crossing with the aide of other Law Enforcement officers. Whenever I was working outside with traffic, especially when it started to get dark, I was wearing a safety vest and yellow parking gloves and equipped with a light stick and a flashlight. This allowed vehicles and pedestrians to see me more visibly, which made it easier to get their attention and direct them. More importantly, brightly standing out from my surroundings provides more safety to myself. The Mayor's event went so smoothly. I honestly do not think it could have gone any smoother. I thought that I getting everyone in and out of the park would have been very chaotic but it was not at all. We all worked together, knew our roles, and constantly communicated with each other. Not only were there no accidents of any kind, making the event a success, but everyone a part of the event enjoyed themselves as well. Afterwards, the Chief Ranger had a debriefing with everyone involved in the event to talk about what aspects of the event worked successfully and what aspects could be improved upon. We all went around in a circle and voiced our opinions on both then thanked each other for such a successful event and ending our evening.

I am still having a splendid time in maintenance! I went to Hampton for the first time this summer. Hampton is a different national historic site also managed by the same individuals from Fort Mchenry. It is completely different from Fort Mchenry. There is much more land, and Hampton is famous for the Hampton Mansion. It graciously sits on acres of land and is surrounded by several slave quarters, farm houses, and more. The mansion's vast beauty immediately grabs attention from all visitors. After the maintenance team and I drove out to Hampton, we weed-eated all around the fences, trees, buildings, and basically the entire area by the farm house. Communication is great and we always know what we are supposed to be doing. Working together really helps the job get done fast and efficiently. To tackle a large areas of land, we start out in separate areas and all weed-eat until we eventually meet up with one another, then we start another area. So far, we have been able to easily accomplish every task assigned to us and it has been really enjoyable! One thing I can say is that working with maintenance has given me a greater sense of attachment and love for my shower than ever before! I have worked really hard and had so much fun doing so. When my stay with maintenance comes to an end I am really going to miss it.

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