Wednesday, August 14, 2013

INDE 9 & 10

   This week at Independence Hall has been one of the most interesting because I spent time working in 3 different divisions.  A few of the days I completed my daily duties in law enforcement which includes foot patrol, observing the operation in dispatch and assisting the Law enforcement park rangers when I can.  In the other divisions I got to see a different side of the Park Service. I spend a day in maintenance with the MVO staff. Unfortunately I didn’t get any hands on motor vehicle experience, but I was able to help the crew clean up the park. I went to two of the most visited grounds here at INDE and took trash from the cans and replaced the bags.  Washington Square and The café are areas where visitors walk around to enjoy the scenery and lounge on park chairs or benches. To my surprise INDE ‘s outdoor café not only sells food and drinks but they are also permitted to sell Alcoholic beverages. This site at INDE seams to serve a lot of professional people around the city who come to the park after work.
                                                                         Trash Truck
                                                    Maintenance Warehouse (North Philly)
   Working with maintenance was cool everyone seems to have their own scheduled duties for each day however when they finish their task they go help their co workers with their assignments. The team work this division uses to help each other out on a daily basis is incredible. Along with dumping trash I also helped the maintenance team lift and move large objects like wood to and from Franklin court. I assisted maintenance move In Franklin court the park has a partnership in which a new museum for Ben Franklin has created. The museum is incredibly high tech and interactive. I think this will bring a lot of visitors to the park and they will enjoy being in a museum that goes hands on with its visitors. I also got to work with Custodial and Grounds with the maintenance division. During those days I went hands on with making the park look great. I went up to the old white house aka Deshler-Morris house in Germantown and helped landscape the exterior. I also cleaned the trashed and recycling with Range Renee in the M.E.B.


   The following day I spent back in Law enforcement. Being able to explore the park and make my own contacts is something I wasn’t able to do when I arrived. I am confident enough to assist the visitors and if I can’t I either find out how I can help them or point them to someone who can. Most of my shift was spent outside of the office. I stood up by Independence Hall with the guards protecting INDE’s cultural resources. The main things you have to do is make sure visitors stay within their permitted area, make sure no one crosses over the gates, and lastly making sure the visitors know about the events in the area.

  Also this week at INDE I completed online trainings for Hazard Communications. I was given this training to go along with the Hazardous Chemicals project that I assigned a few weeks ago. I have learned a lot about Hazardous chemicals and how to care for them in the work place. In the Park Service every division has chemicals that employees use every day and having them accounted for and used properly is very important and a benefit to the operation. Unfortunately these chemicals can be harmful so the training prepared me to be more responsible with the products used at work. I completed ½ of the training one day and then the other half thee following week.

   On Wednesday both of my program managers Ranger Krug and Ms McGarvey both came and visited me at INDE. During their visit I showed them my favorite part of the park, which is 18th century and Rose garden. I claimed these two locations to be my favorite because these are the areas I find the most relaxing and unheard of. Of course at INDE our most prized cultural resources are Independence Hall and The liberty bell, but this National Historical Park has so much more to offer its visitors. Both locations open at day and close at night. They both are in the southern area of the park and they both have their own uniqueness. After showing them around I was included in a meeting with them and Ranger Vince who is a LE Supervisor at INDE. The four of us discussed topics like the strengths and weaknesses of The Pro Ranger program and the National Park INDE. The three of them had good conversation and great points.
  The rest of my shift I spent with Cultural Resource Management Division. I have been working with this division every Wednesday for the last few weeks in one of their storage rooms doing inventory task. Like LE, CRM has inventory projects that need to be completed annually. The volunteers who are also college students help out with this project. In the storage room we account for each and every stored artifact. One of us calls out the id numbers and the other records it on the laptop. This task is not difficult but time consuming. I am glad to be able to work with this division under the Curator Ms Karie Supervision. The last thing I wanted to inform my readers about in regards to CRM is that they have a monthly newsletter that gives the Park Staff a general idea of the tasks, projects and programs worked on in that division. This written communication is vital to giving the park rangers information about CRM. One of the most important things I’ve learned from working here this summer is that communication is key to achieving the mission of NPS

   The Following week I Spent Mostly with LE Division. I got to make a lot of my own contacts and help visitors navigate through out the park and find prime park areas to explore. I completed some online training. The DOI offers its employees a lot of online training  The more training I complete the more knowledge I obtain about the Park Service. This week like most I sat in dispatch and watched their operation for most of my mornings. I sat in the office with Dispatcher Rydeam who is acting supervisor and observed him complete scheduling for the dispatch team. The knowledge and information the dispatchers gave me this summer is appreciated.

   Most days before I leave work I spend my last hour in the M.E.B working out in the fitness room. This particular day I met up with Dispatcher Oshikia who wanted to get back in shape. During this hour I showed her some basic work out that she can use with the provided exercise equipment that can get her back into shape. First we warmed up with a lot of body stretching. Stretching your arms and legs gets them ready for physical activity. I then showed her 4 basic weight lifting exercises that helps get the heart beat up and tones the body. We did that for about ten minutes and then I introduced her to the Elliptical. Honestly the elliptical to me is the next best thing to running because it has less of a physical impact but you can adjust the levels of resistance so that even if you are taking slower strides the machine still makes you work harder to complete the stride. After 10 minutes on the elliptic, we got down on the mat and completed 50 sit ups which target your core, Stomach. After 50 of these, my work out partner was exhausted but she didn't stop or give up. 

  We got back on our feet and started the work out all over again. Back to stretching, and then free weight lifting, cardio on the elliptical and 50 more sit ups. Having little to no recovery time keeps your heart rate up and makes your work out stronger. We left The MEB and I sat in dispatch observing the dispatchers responding to visitor and park ranger calls. I ended my shift and left the park from there.

                                                                18th Century Garden
    On Wednesday I worked again with CRM, Cultural Resource Management. MS Karie informed me and another Volunteer about the 18th century landscape in particular the 18th century garden.  We walked the park from the south to the north end where the artifact storage is to continue the project we've been completed the last few weeks. In the storage room there are cabinets and draws full of old objects in which the park owns and preserves for the future. I worked on this project for about 4/5 hours and we got a lot done.

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