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.
Friday, June 7, 2013
Cuyahoga Valley NP Week 2
Overlook at the Ledges
I started this week on Wednesday (my new Monday), May 29 with training with the LE rangers. They were doing Basic Tactics, Active Shooter, and their annual Taser Refresher. I was able to participate in the all day training learning things that were completely new to me. Basic Tactics was taught by Stell, the Defensive Tactics Instructor for the park. We went over proper ways for Officers to enter a building that has an intruder. I learned the proper procedure to make sure you are not putting yourself at any more risk than what is necessary, and to make sure you check your 6's (6 o'clock, behind you), as it is easy to forget but very important. I learned the different techniques of how to enter a doorway or go around it and communicating with your fellow Officers what is cleared or needs to be cleared, and then I got to do drills with the other Rangers as we practiced clearing a hallway with our blue guns.
Blue Gun Drills
Active Shooter training was taught by Ranger Jared Brewer. I learned that each situation is handled different, and a lot of Officer discretion is used to do what may seem to be the best, because there is no right or wrong. An active shooter is treated very different from a barricaded suspect, so the way one responds to this is varies. I again got to do some more drills, and I also got to play the shooter! This was very beneficial to me because I got to see what it was like from the enemies side, and witness all the Rangers' different techniques and see what I felt was more effective and why, weak points to watch out for, etc.
Taser reloading drills
Taser target practice
The taser training came next. This was my first time ever with a taser and I was very cautious not to get zapped! I learned to differentiate when it is appropriate or not to use a taser vs. OC spray vs. baton or fists vs. deadly force. I learned about the taser and what it does and it's limits and policy limits. Then we got a chance to go outside, practice firing (with blanks, but you can still get shocked) and unloading and reloading. Then we got to actually fire at some boards that was simulating the front side of a person, the back side, and lying down. It was very neat to get to use a taser!
Ice Box Cave
The next day I was with Ranger Donathan. We started the day investigating a vandalism in one of the bathrooms. I took photos and Donathan helped me write a report and photo log on it. We made some traffic stops as we went over reasons why a certain vehicle could get pulled over, as well as using the radar. I got to practice using the radio, and we did a hike patrol on the Ledges, where I saw many beautiful features. One of them being the Ice Box Cave. It was a very hot and humid day but when we stepped down near the cave opening it was dry and cold. This natural feature is very interesting and many bats inhabit the cave. Due to the White Nose Syndrome, this spot is no longer open to visitors for the protection of the bats.
The next day, 5/31 I went on a bike patrol with Stell. We biked a section of the Towpath checking that everyone was doing okay, nothing was out of place, and stopping to check fishing licenses whenever we came across people fishing on the river. It was a beautiful day to be out on the bikes!
The following day, 6/1 I met with Ranger Mary Dyer. We went over PEB standards and the fitness logs that Cuyahoga has as well as a nutritious diet. After that we went on patrol and checked fishing licenses and as we pulled into one of the trailheads we were flagged down by some visitors who had dropped their keys in the marsh! After a little bit of tricky maneuvering we were able to get their car unlocked (which had extra keys inside!) and the visitors were happily on their way. After that I met with Ranger Cindy Swaggard. Being the firearms coordinator we went over the firearms at the park, the procedure each Ranger does when starting and ending their shift with the firearms, amount of extra ammunition each Ranger carries, what constitutes when to use deadly force, and many other factors that need to be considered. We also went over the procedures for qualifying annually, or here, biannually at the gun range. After that I went down to Brandywine to help with a parking detail for a wedding.
On Sunday, June 2nd I was able to get training with the American Red Cross for First Aid/CPR/AED. Although I have had this training before, my training expired over a year ago, so learning it again was very much needed.
This week was full of new stuff and I sure learned a great deal! It was great getting a chance to meet with many of the Rangers to hear and see how they do things because each one is different and will handle the same situation different. Until next week with more opportunities in store!