The ProRanger Philadelphia program is an academic, technical skills training, and internship program that is cooperatively administered by the National Park Service and Temple University. The program was established to recruit, train and employ law enforcement park rangers for the National Park Service.
Students take coursework during the academic year at Temple University and participate in internships at National Park Service sites during the summer. Follow their experiences here.
Saturday, July 28, 2012
Farewell to Mount Rushmore National Memorial
week at Mount Rushmore National Memorial certainly did not disappoint.The fire danger within the area was still at
an extreme high.About every two hours
or so rangers would drive to the high lookout points to check for any smoke
around the park.We made it through most
of the day without sighting anything.However, at about 5 in the afternoon a large smoke funnel was spotted a
few miles outside of the park boundary.The local Forest Service Dispatch was contacted and they notified us that
six fire engines were already en route along with a few helicopters responding
as well.In the meantime the decision
was made to close the Presidential Trail in case the fire spread in the park’s
direction.Once everyone was escorted
off the trail we closed and locked the gates so visitors could not gain
access.Luckily the fire was under
control and put out by the next morning without getting much larger.
All Summer I
had been working on the proper techniques for holding, handling, and holstering
handguns and the day had come to put all those skills together.Ranger and Firearms Instructor Darin Oestmann
took me down to the park’s firing range to work with the handguns.I first shot from the five yard line to get a
feel for the weapon.Ranger Oestmann
also gave me tips for switching out the magazines and making sure to always
practice proper techniques to build good habits and muscle memory. He also told me the importance of being able to shoot one handed in both dominant and non-dominant hand in case one gets injured during a fire fight. I feel much more confident when working with firearms
and now have a better understanding of how they work and should be handled.
Shooting left handed.
Shooting with right hand only.
My last day
at the park ended my summer just as it had started: on the mountain.I worked the early shift with Ranger Oestmann
and first thing we hiked up to the faces, the chins to be exact.All the rangers had been telling me all
summer of certain sites that were a must-see and being at the base of the faces
at sunrise was definitely on the list.It is absolutely breathtaking to be standing next to a sixty-foot
carving of one of our Country’s leaders and feeling so small.The view alone was worth the climb and will
be an experience I will never forget.
went entirely too quickly and the experiences I had would not be traded for
anything.I learned so much from every
single ranger I worked with and had opportunities that I never thought I would
have been presented with.It is unfortunately
an end to another chapter in my life but I can only imagine what has yet to
come.See you all at Leadership Camp!!