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PARK RANGER - Protection

Essential Competencies

Park ranger is a resources-based occupation. All rangers should have a strong park resource knowledge base, built upon college level academic study in the natural and/or cultural sciences, as an underpinning of their ranger skills.

Patrol rangers are the "eyes and ears" of the park; this person must have confidence, be a self-starter, and most importantly, foster a sense of curiosity and creative courage. The incumbent must view the position as an unending source of projects and/or problems which need addressing.

Almost the total measurement of the law enforcement ranger's professionally acceptable progression-- from entry through journeyman levels--will be reflected in how well the individual moves into and along this project-mode of thinking.

ENTRY LEVEL

Description: These competencies identify the Knowledge, Skills, and Abilities to perform at an introductory level protecting people and park resources. Work is performed under close supervision with emphasis on safety and the developing of basic work skills.

I. Knowledge of Mission and Resource Values

A. Introduced to Park System, history, and reason for protection.

II. Knowledge of Laws and Regulations (Ability to read and understand)

A. Federal
1. Constitution
2. Authority and jurisdiction
3. United States Code
4. Code of Federal Regulations

B. State
1. Criminal

C. Local
1. Ordinance
2. Zoning

III. Knowledge of Basic Law Enforcement

A. Skills
1. Use of deadly force
2. Arrest techniques
3. Defensive driving
4. Self defense
5. Patrol techniques
6. Investigation and tools
7. Interviewing
8. Basic computer usage

B. Philosophy
1. Professional
2. Public service oriented

IV. Knowledge of Emergency Operations

A. Incident Command
1. Basic: Role and Function

B. Accidents
(vehicular, boat, personal, haz-mat, natural)
1. Reporting requirements
2. Proper use of tools and equipment

V. Knowledge of People Skills

A. External Relations / Networking
1. Interaction with park friends
2. Neighboring laws and legislation
3. Community assistance programs

B. Internal Relations/Networking

C. Public Education
1. Speaking/presenting
2. "Canned" package programs

DEVELOPMENTAL LEVEL

Description: These competencies identify the Knowledge, Skills, and Abilities to perform as a Park Ranger evolving in protecting people and resources. Work is performed under supervision with emphasis on safety and the continued development of both basic and intermediate work skills.

I. Park Mission and Resource Values

A. Introduced to specific resources and reason for park's existence (eg. enabling legislation)

B. Vulnerability and "black-market value" of resources

C. Recognition of potential for illegal activities (e.g.,landing strips, military, overflights, drug labs, etc.)

II. Knowledge of Laws and Regulations

(To determine applicability)
A. Federal
1. Resource laws (e.g. ARPA, NEPA, ESA, etc.)
2. Other laws specific to area (e.g. minerals)

B. State
1. Resource laws
2. Revised and/or Annotated
3. Other laws specific to area (e.g. oil/gas)

III. Knowledge of Law Enforcement Function

A. Investigative Skills
1. Tracking
2. Electronic investigative tools

B. Computer usage
1. NCIC
2. Electronic mail
3. Park data
4. Introduced to GIS
5. Introduced to GPS
6. NIBRS
7. Introduced to computer-assisted investigations

IV. Knowledge of Emergency Operations

A. Incident Command
1. "On-the-line" and/or "shadow positions"
2. Reviews event plans
3. Identifies and documents problems

B. Accidents
1. SOP review
2. Priority setting
3. Follow established procedures

C. Crisis Intervention

V. Knowledge of People Skills

A. External Relations / Networking
1. Role outside organization

B. Internal Relations / Networking
1. Role within organization

C. Public Education
1. Determine delivery methods
2. Analyze subject and audience
3. Initiate information management

FULL PERFORMANCE LEVEL

Description: These competencies identify the Knowledge, Skills, and Abilities to perform at the journeyman level in protecting people and resources at a proactive rather than reactive level. Work is performed with little close supervision, generally with only oral and written instruction.

I. Comprehension of Park Resources

A. Inventorying resources

B. Measuring change

C. Recommend/implement plans to protect/preserve

D. Introduction to countermeasures

II. Knowledge of Laws and Regulations (Ability to apply in specific instances)

A. Understanding Jurisdictional limitations
1. Cooperative agreements/MOU's
2. Deputizations
3. Working relationships with other agencies

III. Knowledge of Law Enforcement Function

A. Apply advanced skills and techniques
1. Interviewing/interrogation
2. Undercover/surveillance tools
3. Intelligence gathering
4. Drug interdiction

IV. Knowledge of Incident Command System

A. Event management
1. Subordinate supervisor
a. "Shadow" positions
b. Incident Commander when appropriate

B. Accidents
1. Determine accident cause and fix responsibility

C. Crisis Communication

V. Knowledge of People Skills

A. Interpersonal commmunications
1. The "Art of Persuasion"
2. Decision making

B. Interpretation of the resources
1. Park issues

C. Public forum/use involvement
1. Plans and initiates contacts

D. Introduction to Supervision

E. Goal setting/priority setting

F. Partnerships ( e.g. D.A.R.E., victim-witness assistance)

VI. Knowledge of Search and Rescue

(see Visitor Use Management)

VII. Knowledge of Emergency Medical Services

(see Visitor Use Management)

National Park Service
Training and Development Division
Essential Competencies
1lerangr.htm

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