Tuesday, June 7, 2016

Shenandoah National Park, Virginia

        Goodafternoon, my name is Daniel Bussell and I am happy to announce my arrival back down to Virginia this summer for my second internship. This time though I am honored with the opportunity to be working at Shenandoah National Park. After visiting the park numerous times last summer camping and hiking in the majority of the North District I had the chance to meet and talk with several of the rangers working here, and now I am excited to be working with and learning from them for the next couple of months. 
As I spent my first day out on patrol with Ranger Wahler, he introduced me to several employees throughout the park and familiarized me with viewpoints and trails as we drove along the Skyline Drive. As our day began to slow down we checked into the Piney River Ranger Station when just at that moment a Search and Rescue call came over the radio in the Central District on the Rose River Loop Trail. I quickly learned that working in a linear park with just the one road to access most points in the park can tack on a lot of travel time when responding to an incident. When we arrived we met up with the Incident Commander to see where we were needed and what we could do. The IC had us hike to meet the rest of the crew out on the call, consisting of the Preventative Search and Rescue team, Law Enforcement Rangers, and several other Shenandoah NPS employees. The patient had a compound fracture and was already stable and ready to be tied into the litter. It was a successful carry-out that took roughly two hours or so. It was great to be thrown into a SAR call on the first day and help the team with the carry-out. I look forward to sharpening my skills in the backcountry with the rangers at Shenandoah. 
Getting ready to hike out to the SAR call.

After the SAR call and on our way back to the Ranger Station, a visitors vehicle was stopped in the middle of the road, we immediately thought it was a “Bear Jam”, but a large rock had fallen onto the road as they were driving and they couldn’t avoid it, losing part of thevehicle’s bumper. We got the rock off the road while safely stopping traffic, and then gathered a witness statement for an incident report. My first day at SHEN was a busy and interesting one. It really set the bar for an exciting and great learning experience that I can’t wait to have this summer and already have had so far. I look forward to telling more about my experiences at Shenandoah National Park. Thank you for reading!

Removing the fallen rock on the road. 
A visitor one morning before I left for work.

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