Wednesday, August 17, 2016

Take Care, Sleeping Bear

Being a Law Enforcement Ranger for the NPS means that your office can be in some of the most beautiful places in the world. It's now the middle of August, I have returned home to Philadelphia, and I am definitely missing the most beautiful place I've ever been to. My final week was bittersweet, knowing that I would be leaving soon, yet still having a great experience and learning up until my last second in Michigan.

SLBE's UTV (Utility Task Vehicle)
On one of my final days, I had the privilege to do beach patrol with District Ranger Andy Blake and Ranger Jamie Westenfelder. This involved riding the Polaris along the coastline from an access point to the bottom of the Dune Climb. This is a common route when we need to make rescues at the Dune Climb, so it is important to practice driving the route and to make sure it is possible to get to the different points. Everything went smoothly, and we were able to get to the different points in a timely manner. When someone is in need of medical assistance, every second counts. 
Dune Climb (400 ft. tall) from the bottom
Coastline of Lake Michigan
with Empire Bluffs in the background

 Keeping with the topic of being urgent while responding to medical calls, my final hours of working as a ProRanger at SLBE were spent at an accident scene where a male on a motorized scooter fell 50 feet over a guardrail. It was a serious accident with gruesome injuries, and it reminded me to always be prepared for anything, no matter the time or day. Even the last 10 minutes of your shift can turn into 5 hours of overtime in the blink of an eye. It also made me look forward to taking EMT courses before I graduate so I can be more of a help in the future.

And now, I have the completed the most rewarding experience of my life: being a ProRanger at Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore. I feel like I've grown a lot since arriving in Empire, Michigan in May, and I can't thank the people at SLBE enough. I am looking forward to my senior year of college, and I wish the best to the members of my cohort who are going to the Seasonal Law Enforcement Training Program.

Sunsets at SLBE will be missed
Thanks for reading the blogs, now go out and find your park!
-Tim Greene

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