Park Ranger on Patrol

Nature Detectives

A park ranger talking into a radio
Ranger Erin climbed into her patrol car and pushed the talk button on her radio. Her first task was to let the dispatch operator know she was on duty–starting now.

For the next ten hours Erin would be patrolling Boulder County Parks & Open Space.

Her job: helping visitors while at the same time protecting property, wildlife, and everything else in the parks.

Her main motivation: sharing her enthusiasm for the outdoors with the people she encounters.

Rangers Go the Extra Miles

Like most of the county rangers, Ranger Erin spends a lot of time hiking the park trails and answering visitors’ questions. Some days she
hikes up to ten miles. Other days she could be looking for a lost hiker or helping an injured cyclist. She also encounters wildlife needing help. One time, Erin was able to remove a fishing line that was entangling a Canada goose.

Three park rangers looking at papers

When an emergency arises, the dispatch operator will radio the rangers on duty. The ranger closest to the problem will answer the dispatcher and respond to the call. Other rangers may provide backup.

The same dispatch calls go out to firefighters and sheriff’s deputies too. All official communication goes through this central dispatch. The rangers keep in radio contact with each other during their shift so they know where the other rangers are patrolling.

Each time the rangers report to dispatch at the start of their shift, they have no idea what exciting or special moments might happen during their next hours on patrol. They do know they will be part of a team protecting people, wildlife and open spaces. And, they will be spending a lot of time outside!

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