What Does a Park Ranger Do?

Emergency Response

Because most parks, forests and campgrounds are remote, a ranger must often fill the role of Emergency Medical Technician and take care of accident victims. In addition, they participate in search and rescue missions to find persons lost in the wilderness.

They also handle potentially dangerous encounters between visitors and wild residents of the park, which is why you don't feed the bears. And depending upon the park to which they are assigned, rangers may need to be trained as scuba divers and helicopter pilots or crew members.

More: What to Do When You See a Bear

Firefighting and Prevention

One of a ranger's most important duties is that of fire prevention. All rangers are on a constant watch for fire, which has become an increasing concern given climate changes that have left large areas of our wilderness extremely dry due to prolonged drought, especially in the western U.S.

Because a ranger is usually first on the scene, he or she becomes the primary line of defense until firefighting crews arrive. It's for that reason that fire prevention and safety are key components of a ranger's training. Once the fire crews take over, a ranger's duties may include evacuating people out of harm's way.

More: 5 Simple Steps to Campfire Safety

Dispatcher

Not all of a ranger's duties take place outdoors. Many important tasks take place behind a desk. Rangers will answer emergency calls and dispatch law enforcement rangers or those trained in providing medical care. Dispatchers also take lost and found reports, monitor surveillance cameras and fire alarms, and use computer systems to check for criminal histories of individuals stopped by law enforcement rangers.

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About the Author

Jeff Adams

Jeff Adams is a California-based freelance writer, contributor to ReserveAmerica.com and an avid camping enthusiast. He's been dragging his trailer and willing family around the western U.S. for more than a decade.
Jeff Adams is a California-based freelance writer, contributor to ReserveAmerica.com and an avid camping enthusiast. He's been dragging his trailer and willing family around the western U.S. for more than a decade.

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