Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Hello all!
Ranger Gingrich and me
Last week was my week back from Baltimore. All of the Rangers within Law Enforcement went as well so, it was good to sit down and talk to everyone about our experiences at Fort McHenry. The best part of this was that since we all did not go down on the same days we were able to put everything together so that it felt that we were all there for the entire Sailabration. So on Monday, it was somewhat of a relaxed day. We did not have too many visitors in the park but I continued to ride around patrolling with Ranger Gingrich and assisted with closing the park. Tuesday, we went on foot patrol, which is my favorite thing to do. I enjoy hiking on the trails. My goal is to see a Bear by the time I leave Morristown. Wednesday, I started my day by hiking one of the trails. When I go on the trails, I take notes on the current condition the trail is in. On this particular morning, I noted whether there were any trees on the trails, the condition of the bridges, and if the trail markers were still visible. When I was first asked to go out on the trails and look for these things, I asked why Law Enforcement had to go out and check the conditions of the trail; I wondered why the staff in Natural Resources did not go out and check them. The response that was given to me was that it is Law Enforcement’s job to make sure that the trails are safe for the visitors and protect them from harming themselves. The staff from Natural Resources does contribute to maintaining the trails because they have volunteers that mark the trails, they also help clean up the trails and remove trees. In the end it is a joint effort between the two to make sure that the trails are safe for our visitors.

Me in front of the Wick House
Thursday, due to the second day heat wave, we again did not have many visitors in the park. However, towards later in the afternoon, Ranger Socha and I, mainly Ranger Socha as I observed, assisted with an older family. At first the call that came in said that there was a car driving the wrong direction in the park. Once we located the car, we saw that the older gentleman had damage to his taillight and bumper. Luckily, this visitor did not get into an accident within the Park, but the downside to his visit was that his car died. As a result of this day being so hot, we gave them water, called a taxi company and AAA so that he could get further assistance. A great thing to say about Thursday is that I learned the importance of checking you patrol before getting on the road and having a patrol card that is filled with the proper equipment. While assisting this visitor, his car was pulled off to the side but we still needed to put cones around the car so that those coming down the hill would know to slow down. Before getting the cones out of the trunk, we thought that we needed to go back to the Ranger Station to get cones. Luckily, we realized that there were some in the trunk so it saved us a trip. Friday, was a rainy day for us. I rode along with Ranger Leon as we patrolled throughout the park. Despite the rain, I learned what to look for and pick out “what does not fit” within the environment of the park. He showed me leaves that were turned upside down and said that the leaves could have been turned this way because of an animal, visitors or a car. He told me that these were factors that I needed to think about when I saw out of place things. Some advice that he gave me that was really important was to pay attention to the visitors; since I have been at Morristown, I have met and spent time with the “Regulars” that come into the parks. This is good to remember because if something or someone is out of place within the park, they would be the one to tell us about it.
I hope everyone is having a great time at their parks and more importantly, learning all that they can!
Talk to you all soon!

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