Saturday, July 8, 2017
Can You Believe We're Halfway Done?
Just when I thought the weeks could not be going any faster, I met Week 5. Back with the law-enforcement rangers, I am able to check so many experiences and opportunities of off my “ranger to-do list.” I spent the week conducting an even deeper variety of traffic stops, writing tickets/citations, independently using the coms systems, directing traffic during MVAs (motor vehicle accidents), manning the barricade during a missing-person search, and so much more. If it wasn’t for me writing down my daily experiences in my journal, I do not know how I would be able to retain everything that I’ve experienced first-hand.
The most interesting event for Week 4 was the unfortunate search for a drowning victim along the Colonial Parkway. Of course, the event was a tragic one and the folks at Colonial offered their sincerest apologies, it was an opportunity for me to see how the investigation operates. Working for over ten hours that day, I was still one of the employees that worked one of the shortest shifts. The rangers worked diligently with a multitude of agencies including York County, Newport News, James City County, the US Navy, the US Coast Guard, the Virginia Marine Police, and all of the available dive teams available. The search team had a tremendous operation of coordination, communication, and dedication that made the critical incident run as smoothly as possible. I spent a lot of time at the barricades, directing traffic and acting as a gatekeeper for authorized personnel only. My prayers remain with the victim’s family, and I am grateful to all parties involved in the incident.
As for the other days of the week, there was plenty of work to go around. Between a number of visitor/driver contacts throughout the jurisdiction of the park, I was able to experience first-hand what the park rangers work through on a daily basis. In addition to work, I am feeling comfortable with the surrounding area during my off time as well! If you can name a store that you would like to visit while you’re here, this part of Virginia has it. The possibilities are endless and the area becomes more and more of a favorite of mine with the number of sunsets I am able to witness. On a number of occasions, I spend time with rangers off the clock so that we may get to develop our relationships further and I always have such a blast when hanging out or out to dinner with them. After a quick four weeks, I can easily say that it’ll be difficult to say goodbye when all is said and done. I’ll even miss washing and vacuuming patrol cars!