Thursday, July 28, 2011

Week 7 Fee/Dispatch

This week we worked with Fee and Dispatch. Our schedules were divided up the first two days between them.  The first day Ryan worked in Dispatch while I worked in the Fee Booth.  We had to greet the visitors as they came into the park to use the beach. Since we were the first people that the visitors see when they come into the park, our Fee Supervisor stated that we needed to wear our flat hats, so that we can show them the traditional Park Service look. During our time at Fee we sold daily passes, season passes and passes for Senior Citizens. Our first day there we watched the employees as they dealt with the visitors and then after break we took over. We also learned how to count the passes for the day, make sure everyone had the right amount of passes they needed for the next day so that everyone was prepared. We worked on the Fourth of July weekend because it was going to be a busy day at the beach. Instead of taking turns with our trainers we worked the entire shift by ourselves, with them being close by just in case we needed any assistance.
While working at Dispatch, we had to answer the phones and talk to visitors as they came into the Ranger Station. We were given the Sandy Hook Compendium which had information on everything in park. It listed information on Pets not being able to be on the beach, the hours of the Visitor Center, how to obtain a permit for the Chapel and other crucial information so that when visitors would call, we would be able to answer them accurately. In addition to that we would give directions on how to get to the park for the Beach concerts, what other fun events were taking place for families at Fort Hancock and along the Bayside. We gave out fishing permits, handled lost and found cases, and even handled a first aid case when a visitor came in with a hook in his finger. We were also taught how to use radios and the Phonetic Alphabet. One of our Dispatchers showed us how to look up information for traffic stops on their computer systems. Ryan and I were both given a chance to dispatch and use the radios during our shift. We were also taught how to take down information quickly and precisely for the records. We were taught how to communicate that information so that we were not giving away unnecessary information.
Working in Fee and Dispatch was a great learning experience because we really needed to know our information about the park and the beach. Visitors always have questions so we always need to be prepared and that is one of the greatest things to take away from that. Communicating with each other is also another great thing that we learned. Dispatch is another division that holds everything and everyone together. They have to communicate with all the employees and need to know what their location is at all times. So for when there are those “what if” moments they are always prepared and ready to go.  In one incident, there was an issue with people walking into the Piping Plover nesting area, so the visitors called the Ranger Station to have them send someone out to take care of it. Without Dispatch, we would not have that “go to person” to let us know when fix any problems within the park or help look up essential information when it is needed.

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