Letter of Thanks From Glen Canyon National Recreation Area.
RECEIVED BY BIG WATER FIRE:
Just wanted to pass on our thanks from the Glen Canyon NRA, Protection Division in Wahweap to Big Water Fire.
Several nights ago at 0200 on 7/27/12 at Lone Rock we received what appeared to be a legitimate report of a possible drowning. As Werner and I were headed there by boat (two other rangers on land at LR, and another that "commandeered a visitor's boat for the search" we realized that we should stage an ambulance. The IC initially thought of Page, but we recommended to call Big Water instead, for a variety of sensible reasons. When the call was made I believe you or your dispatch then asked if we were requesting only an ambulance or a full callout. At that moment we realized what an amazing resource we could employ with a full callout.
the plan was to get as many of your guys out walking the beach and checking all camps to
make sure the victim hadn't simply wandered off, as we continued to organize a water search. Our resources were spread thin, especially if we were to search the mile long beach lined with at the time likely far more than 100 camps, as well as the water search. As we both know, a person in distress in the water is one of the most urgent situations we run into in the park and the need to employ all available resources is always immediate. I believe you were paged out and we shortly cancelled thereafter.
Turns out the guy was swimming far out and did not come back. Instead, he "snuck" back onto land to "play a joke" on his family and friends, went and hid in one of the microflushes.
Just that type of callout and the resources your dept can offer in such a case and non-traditional role (of a fire dept.) was an awakening to us and has been included in our "lessons learned" and passed along to all of our rangers.
Since I've been here over the last four years and you've taken over as the Chief, I've noticed some major improvements to the park's relationship with, and the professionalism within your dept. This case is just one example of a way to better manage an incident and resources, just as your coverage of WW during Powellapalooza last year was, as well as the numerous mutual aide cases since. All of the rangers at Wahweap are certainly taking note of Big Water's capability as an asset for us and the protection of our park's visitors; as a result we (all the field rangers and supervisors) are acknowledging that asset and thinking of employing and asking for assistance from you in an emergency as a fairly routine option in incidents...much more often than even a couple years ago. We greatly appreciate the willingness of Big Water Fire Volunteers to answer the call and assist us outside of your coverage area and at all hours.
I have no doubt that this relationship will continue and that Big Water's impact to the safety of park visitors will continue to be noted.
Big Water Fire is truly an amazing asset to the park and our visitors. And I will certainly continue to remind others up the chain of that.
Please extend this note and our appreciation to your volunteers.
A. Joseph Dallemolle
U.S. Park Ranger
Glen Canyon National Recreation Area
National Park Service
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