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.
Saturday, July 8, 2017
Calm Before the Storm
The last couple weeks have been busy in the park and it has
shown, I have been everywhere around the park and have even gotten to travel
outside of the park to places I have never been to. Week 5 started out in the
office with my supervisor working on the schedule for when the program
directors were coming to visit. After I was done in the office I went on a ride
along in the valley, which was an educational and eventful night. While out on
patrol the Ranger and I went into one of the residential areas here in the park
that houses the concessionaire employees and worked on some community policing.
It was interesting to see this concept in action and not just read about it in
the text books at Temple University. That night I was also able to assist the
crutch out of a visitor who had twisted her ankle on the mist trail while
finishing up her hike, this was great experience because the EMS professionals
allowed me to help wrap the ankle and talked with me about the importance of
getting EMT certified when working in a western park.
Tuesday through Wednesday I got to go on a training trip
with the men and women of the Special Response Team which is a team that is in
the park for incidents that need a group that has higher levels of training
than the average ranger has received. This training was amazing to get to watch
and participate in on a couple of scenarios. The beginning of the trip called
for me to wake up at 3am because we had to drive out to Sacramento to get to
the training which started at 8am. From that they did training on scenarios
like bus assaults, vehicle assaults, dog training, and finally defensive
tactics. They were nice enough to let me go and take pictures for them while
also letting me do one vehicle assault and all of the defensive tactic
training. This experience was eye opening and showed me most of all how
important it is to have trust in your team and also trust in your own abilities
to protect yourself in a fight. From the training we drove back over to Hetch
Hetchy and stayed the night in some of the park housing over there. On Wednesday
morning we started off by doing active shooter training which consisted of
learning how to properly approach a building, how to enter the buildings and
rooms, and then what to do after the active shooter is found. I was allowed to
learn all of this and then got to see it in action while playing one of the
victims who had been shot. We finished the day off by touring the O’ Shaughnessy
dam in case there was an attack on the dam and the SRT needed to get inside of
the dam and clear it out.
Entrance to the Dam
Thursday I spent my day in the Wilderness center learning
how the wilderness permit system works inside of the park and getting to talk
with some of the noncommissioned rangers that go out and check for permits and
food storage violations. The first hour was a lot of learning about the system
they have in place, but once I got an understanding of how everything works I was
behind a computer filling out permits and helping to cut down on the group that
had swarmed the building. By the end of the day I was worn out and was told I could
come back and work anytime I wanted to.
Top of Hidden Falls
The week finished with me working traffic at the location of
our last rock slide which shut down one of the entrances to the park for a
week. We have been having problems with traffic stopping in the slide area
which still has some hazardous rocks that might come down. This job was hot but
I made a lot of good contacts with visitors and was even told thank you by a
few of them for keeping them safe and out of harm’s way.
My weekend was quick and flew by, I had one day off and
spent it hiking up to hidden falls with one of my roommates and had a nice
relaxing day watching the falls and laying in the shade.