Last updated: June 9, 2016
Today was my second day at Montezuma Castle, and another great day! I was given the chance to receive fire extinguisher training along with some Park Service staff members, including a few park police. Everyone I met was extremely polite and outgoing as expected, which made me feel very welcome. To my surprise, there is a lot more to know about a fire extinguisher than one would think. The training was taken very seriously and the instructor made sure everyone was clear on each topic. I was surprised to find out that each park staff member receives fire extinguisher training annually. The first half of the training was spent inside going over a power point, where we learned things like different types of extinguishers, types of fires, and the best extinguishers to use for each situation along with how to properly use them. The last half of the training was spent outside, giving each trainee a chance to get hands on experience with a fire extinguisher. The instructor set up a small gas fire outside that each trainee got a chance to extinguish. Using a fire extinguisher is definitely as fun as it looks! When it was my turn I pulled the pin from the fire extinguisher and marched toward the fire, minding my distance from the flames as recommended by the instructor. I then pulled the metal handle and blasted away, extinguishing the gas fire. The powder from the extinguisher quickly rose around me and gave off a thick metal stench, which forced me to quickly backpedal. Fire extinguisher training complete!
The rest of my day was spent reading and walking around the park to gain as much knowledge about all of the parks as possible, just like yesterday. I am surprised at how intrigued I have become with the Native American culture that created the national monuments being protected today. It is extremely enjoyable to walk around the area and picture what life would have been like from the year 1100 to 1400 with men hunting, women building and gardening, and children running around laughing and playing. It can be hard at times to realize that the people I am reading about in books were actually people, not much different from me, who laughed, cried, and went about their daily routines just like me.
My supervisor, Krystina Isaac, was contacted by a woman today who wanted to surprise her husband coming home from the military. The woman had the clever idea of getting a Parks Service member from each state to have their picture taken holding a sign, and the one that she wanted Krystina to pose with said "even Arizona knows how much I love you!" I had the pleasure of taking the picture of Krystina with the sign in front of Montezuma Castle. I really appreciate the woman for doing something so nice for her homebound husband, and Krystina, who was more than happy to help out!
Today I met another great volunteer in interpretation, who gave me some helpful information on Montezuma Castle and the people who lived there. His name is David "Monk" Portolano and he is a poet/ musician who came all the way from New York to live here in Arizona and volunteer his time to our amazing national parks. His passion for the job can be heard in the words he speaks about Montezuma Castle, and can be seen in the way he interacts with guests. It was a pleasure to speak to David, along with all of the other volunteers and staff I met today! Every staff member and volunteer that I have met has been more than willing to help out guests in any way possible, to ensure their visit to Montezuma Castle is as pleasant as it should be. Tomorrow should be just as enjoyable!���4���