The Morning Report

Wednesday, August 06, 2014

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Grand Teton National Park (WY)
Two Fires Suppressed In Jackson Lake Lodge

Grand Teton engine companies, with support from two Jackson Hole Fire and EMS stations, responded to two fires and two alarms within Jackson Lake Lodge within four days. 

On the evening of Thursday, July 30th, a flash fire broke out when a server opened the door of a “hot box” designed to keep food warm during catering events. While lodge personnel attempted to extinguish the fire with water, the building alarm activated and the building was evacuated. 

The fire was contained to the hot box and responding engine companies checked the building to ensure that no other ignition had occurred.  Investigation revealed that the seals on the hot box had failed, allowing pyrolysis to create off-gassing from the fiberglass insulation.  The gases that had built up inside the hot box had been instantly ignited by open sterno flames in the bottom of the box when the server opened the door.  

Around 2:30 p.m. on the afternoon of Sunday, August 3rd, alarms were activated in the Jackson Lake Lodge by smoke coming from HVAC vents in the Explorers Room, a large conference room capable of hosting more than 400 people. 

Responding units included engines, an ambulance and a truck company. During an extended search of more than two hours, teams followed the smoke back to a heat exchanger in the HVAC system, where charred debris from an unknown source was found in the heating system.  The facility was reopened to the public at 5 p.m.

There were also two fire alarms on August 3rd. One occurred in the morning, when an unknown individual pulled a fire alarm box on the rear deck of the Jackson Lake Lodge; the other occurred during the HVAC incident when an alarm activated in the Jackson Lake Lodge employee laundry for an unknown cause.

The effective responses to these incidents came about through cross training between the park and Jackson Hole Fire/EMS and Teton County, including weekly fire meetings, EMS refreshers, in-service opportunities, and county-wide emergency drills.

[Submitted by Patrick W. Hattaway, North District Ranger]

Lake Mead NRA - NV, AZ
Bodies Of Two Drowning Victims Found

Two bodies have been recovered in areas where two men disappeared while swimming on July 20th.

On the afternoon of August 1st, park dispatch received a call from a visitor who reported seeing a body floating on Lake Mohave. Responding rangers recovered the body of an adult male from the Nevada shoreline.

A 53-year-old Las Vegas man was reported missing near that location on July 20th after jumping off his boat to go swimming. He was not wearing a lifejacket.

On August 4th, volunteers from Earth Resource Group employing advanced underwater detection equipment found a body 340 feet underwater near Lake Mead’s Boulder Islands. Rangers and state game wardens recovered it.

A 25-year-old Las Vegas man was reported missing in this area after going swimming without a lifejacket on July 20th.

Both incidents are under investigation.

[Submitted by Christie Vanover, Public Affairs Officer]


Lake Roosevelt National Recreation Area (WA)
Lifejacket Loaner Program Begun At Lake Roosevelt

Lake Roosevelt National Recreation Area and a park partner, the Grand Coulee Rotary Club, have launched a program whereby visitors who don’t have lifejackets can get loaners for use while on the lake.

On July 30th, members of the club and park staff met at the Crescent Bay boat launch to kick the program off.

The club paid to fabricate and supply two personal flotation device (PFD) signs at the Crescent Bay and Spring Canyon boat launches. Park maintenance employees installed the signs.

Bob Valen, president of the Grand Coulee Rotary Club, signed a memorandum of understanding with the park that will ensure that the signs are maintained along with serviceable PFDs. 

Visitors who come to the park without lifejackets or with an insufficient number now have the option of obtaining loaners from the park for use during their stay. Protection rangers also have an alternative when a boat operator comes up short on PFDs during a boat safety inspection; rather than barring them from using the lake, they can instead direct them to the loaners.

U.S. Coast Guard statistics for 2013 reveal that there were 4,062 recreational boating accidents that year that resulted in 560 deaths, 2,620 injuries, and approximately $39 million dollars in property damage. Where the cause of death was known, 77% percent were due to drowning. Of these drownings, 84% of victims weren’t wearing lifejackets.

[Submitted by Marty Huseman, Chief Ranger]

Interpretation/Education Division
Toolkit Available To Implement MOU With Boys And Girls Clubs

On July 18th, Director Jarvis and Boys & Girls Clubs of America President/CEO Jim Clark signed a national memorandum of understanding that encourages every NPS site and BGCA club to develop joint field trips and programs that encourage outdoor recreation, citizen stewardship and healthy lifestyles.

The National Park Service’s goals align with Boys & Girls Clubs of America’s vision for kids. Together, this union will create recreational, educational and developmental programs that emphasize academic success, good character and citizenship, and healthy lifestyles.

The partnership will foster academic success by teaching kids about history and the land, develop good character and citizenship by instilling a healthy reverence for nature, and promote healthy lifestyles through field trips, play, develop greater awareness and understanding through serve and insight to career fields through summer employment opportunities for youth.

“This collaboration unites the resources and expertise of two organizations that are committed to youth engagement and development,” said Jarvis. “It will introduce thousands of children to their national parks – magnificent places where they can play, learn, serve, and work outdoors.  This type of personal contact with nature benefits us in so many ways physically, mentally, socially and spiritually.”

A working toolkit that includes a guidebook to help connect youth to parks and other materials related to the partnership is available for NPS employees at the link below.

[Submitted by Ernestine White,, 202-513-7157]

 More Information...
Office of Risk Management
Michael Quinn To Head Occupational Safety And Health Program

Commander Mike Quinn, a commissioned officer with the US Public Health Service, has been selected to lead the National Park Service’s occupational safety and health program, which is based in the Office of Risk Management. 

Since 2009, Mike has served as the Service’s lead and subject matter expert on occupational health, developing policies and providing guidance on an array of work-related health and safety topics.  He has performed a multitude of onsite analyses across the Service for asbestos, mold, radon, lead, and other indoor air quality concerns. 

Mike has also led the NPS serious accident investigation (SAI) process and served as the NPS subject matter expert on the SAI interagency cadre.  He has represented the Office of Risk Management on SAI boards of review. 

Mike holds two graduate degrees – a master of public health from the University of South Florida and a master of safety sciences from Indiana University of Pennsylvania.  He is also certified in public health and is a registered environmental health specialist.  

[Submitted by Michael May, Chief, Office of Risk Management]


Ocmulgee National Monument (GA)
GS-0025-12 Chief Ranger

Ocmulgee National Monument has issued an announcement for a chief ranger.

Click on the link below for a copy of the announcement with full details on duties, area information, and procedures for applying.

It closes on August 11th.
 More Information...
Midwest Region
GS-0025-11 Interpretive Ranger

Dates: 08/04/2014 - 08/13/2014

William Jefferson Clinton Birthplace Home NHS is recruiting for an interpretive ranger.  The duty station is Hope, Arkansas.

Full details on duties, area information and procedures on applying can be found in the job opportunity annoucement posted on USAJobs.  The announcement number is MWRC-14-MP-0179.

Closes August 13th.

[Submitted by Barbara Golden,, 402-661-1642]