Monday, June 5, 2017

Week One: Spectacular Views & Great People

View of the town of Hot Springs from an overlook
on West Mountain!
My first week of work has been absolutely great so far, as I am continually looking forward to working every day! My first day, I meet with Chief Ranger Justin Cully, sorted some logistical things out , than was given a tour of the park by Chief Ranger Cully! During the tour I was able to see every aspect of the park and get to know it which was great! I also was able to learn more about Chief Ranger Cully which was a pleasure, as he also got to know more about myself and the program as well! That same day, I was able to meet Ranger Jeff as well and ride along with him for a bit, again getting to know each other. Ranger Jeff gave me a driving tour of town and showed me places that may be useful to me throughout the summer, which was also great to know and learn during my first day.

View from Hot Springs Mt.overlook!

On my second day of work, I got to meet my supervisor, Ranger David VanNest. In the morning we had gone to administer a pack test for someone in the process of getting their Red Card, but never showed so we drove back to the park and went on patrol for a few hours. It was than time for Ranger VanNest to go to a credit card training that he had to do, so it was time for me to ride with another ranger. This is when I meet Ranger Little and K9 Konyak . Ranger Little is new to the park as well (been here about 5 weeks or so) so he is still learning the more in depth stuff to the work and how it works.  K9 Konyak is a 2 year old German Shepard who can track persons, as well as alert too many different kinds of drugs/narcotics.  I would ride along with them the rest of the day, as we made a few traffic stops for speeding.

HOSP Wildland Fire Vehicle

On my third day of work, Ranger VanNest and I would go out a few times during the day to patrol and make sure that everything in the park was going well. Along with that, I was catching up on some computer trainings that I had to do for computer security that lapsed since my last internship. When I had time I also was able to get started on more of the online portion of Wildland Fire Training so that I can be closer to getting my Red Card, which is needed to fight wildfires in the Park Service. That day I also got some of my collateral duties and projects that Chief Cully and Ranger VanNest would like me to help with and work on. The duties that I have been given for the summer are: to maintain the patrol bicycles, record the weather when working morning shift, as well as maintaining the wildland firetruck ( A ford F-350 with a  pump and hoses on a custom made back bed). The projects that I have been given to assist with or complete on my own are: Inventory of LE Supplies, Inventory of Fire Cache, Helping with a project to get new security camera location ideas for the park, as well as helping get rid of extra stock by contacting owners. I am very much looking forward to being able to help with all of the things tasked to me along with other stuff that will pop up during the summer!

Bathtub Race Start!
On my final day for the week, we ended up doing a few patrols around lunch and in the evening. In the morning we got to watch as well as patrol the 12th annual Tub Race in downtown Hot Springs. The race consists of building bathtubs around a wheel base customized to your agency or work/sponsor, and racing them down the main street as a team, while sometimes completing varying challenges along the way. Oh and also don’t forget that people watching can hurl water balloons at you and squirt you with spray guns! Along with that there is a big rivalry every year between the Hot Springs PD and FD, with this year’s winner being Hot Springs PD after losing to the Fire Department the past 9 years.  It was hysterical to watch, and was a great time to patrol and interact with visitors and locals there to watch the races. To end the day, we responded to a weird red substance at the campground that our campground hosts had discovered. Upon arrival and investigation, we found it to be either power steering fluid or transmission fluid. Due to lack of supplies to clean it up, we called Hot Springs FD at reduced speed to assist with the cleanup and if they had a better idea of what it was and how to dispose of it. Five minutes later they got there, helped us in cleaning up the spill, confirming it was some sort of fluid from a vehicle, then we all went our separate ways.

So overall, the first week has been a blast and very interesting! I am looking forward to the challenges and events that may occur throughout the rest of the summer here at HOSP. Please continue to like and share my blog, and let me know all of your reactions to it and if you have any questions! Hope all is going well this summer for everyone reading and please stay tuned next week for my week 2 blog!

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