Under the guidance and direct supervision of Yellowstone's Chief Park Ranger, this position serves as one of two Deputy Chief Rangers for operations of the Division of Resource and Visitor Protection in Yellowstone National Park. The incumbent is responsible for ensuring that trained and qualified personnel are available to respond to and/or manage all routine and emergency incidents and operations throughout the park. The incumbent may be directly responsible for a broad range of complex, controversial, routine, and emergency activities including but are not limited to: law enforcement; emergency medical services; visitor services; fee collection; campground operations; commercial use licenses, special use permits, and limited concessions permits; wildland and structural fire; search and rescue; resource management and protection; public safety; oversight of all public recreation and special event activities; and the review, promulgation, and implementation of park regulations. Incumbent serves command and general staff positions on the more complex incidents that arise in law enforcement, search and rescue, resource management, and fire operations. The employee personally performs all of the emergency service functions above, as necessary. The incumbent serves as the principal advisor to the Chief Ranger and/or Superintendent on all aspects of Ranger Activities and Resource Protection. Incumbent ensures that all supervisory and personnel management responsibilities are carried out. The incumbent prepares recommendations for planning, programming, and distribution of the division’s budget as well as reviews the execution of the division budget throughout the fiscal year. Call-outs as well as evening and weekend work can be expected.
Duties and responsibilities require long work days and extensive travel by all modes of transportation. The incumbent should be in excellent physical and mental condition with considerable stamina in order to react to frequent emergencies and law enforcement situations that arise. This position comes under the scope and requirements of the park's and the NPS’ mandatory Health and Fitness Program and Medical Standards Program.
The incumbent works in a northern mountainous park with temperature ranging from 100 degrees Fahrenheit in summer to -50 degrees Fahrenheit in winter. Snow depths during the winter may vary from two to eight feet. Elevation ranges from 5100 feet to 11,000 feet. The emotional environment is most commonly one of high stress and impeding unknowns.
I ran across this today and it is a very good read on the challenges and responsibilities NPS protection rangers face. I know of no positions anywhere that have the wide scope and life and death responsibilities that NPS rangers have. This position description should result in an understanding of this. Note the list of tasks this and other protection ranger positions include. This position is a fairly high ranking position within the Division of Resource and Visitor Protection at Yellowstone National Park. One would think that a deputy chief ranger would no longer have a role in the field or on the ground and that is largely true for this position, however, note that the incumbent of this position requires knowledge and current certification for all the listed tasks with occasional performance of these tasks on the ground, as well as serving as an incident commander for these types of incidents.
Park Service rangers have an expression to describe the incidents they may handle in a day. There are five primary tasks on the list for protection rangers: law enforcement, EMS, search and rescue, wildland fire and structural fire. Three of the five in one day indicates they earned the triple crown. I've known and worked with some rangers that performed four of the tasks in one day. I've talked with two rangers that had significant incidents involving all five tasks. One ranger related to me that a former co-worker of his had transferred to another park unit and had all five occur in one day, with his last incident being an officer involved (himself) shooting. Fortunately this incident did not involve a suspect fatality or significant wound for the ranger involved other than some flying glass lacerations. After five tasks with a shooting at the end of the day, this ranger ended up with about a 28 hour shift. This was related to me in 1987 when I was on a 145,000 acre fire adjacent to and within Yosemite National Park, so I may not have all the of details correct.
While metro P.D. officers face considerably more danger performing their law enforcement tasks, at least on average, due to having fewer serious and violent crime NPS protection. In spite of that National Park protection rangers, game wardens/conservation officers (title depends on the state), BLM rangers and Forest Service law enforcement officers as a group (the thin green line) have a higher assault rate and face more danger than a metro officer. I would place remote, sparsely populated rural county sheriff's deputies no too far behind. Why? The work alone, backup is routinely 30 minutes away or in some cases 1-2 hours (not as much for the deputies) and the number of people carrying guns and other weapons is higher in rural/remote areas.
Combine that with having to know and maintain the qualifications for a law enforcement officer, EMT or EMT Paramedic, firefighter and perform high angle rescues is incredible. High angle rescue may involve such places as El Capitan, Half Dome (Yosemite) or the incredibly radical slot canyons in the northern Arizona/southern Utah "slickrock" country. Also include search and rescues (SAR) on Mt. Rainier and McKinley and maybe you are starting to get my point. In the Grand Canyon SAR's include slickrock slot canyons, a river with world class rapids and remote river miles with short haul helicopter operations. The latter is when a person harnesses up to a relatively short rope hooked up to the underside of the helo and flown to the rescue site. I can partially relate to what the rush of doing this and being suspended under the ship when flying over the rim as I was passenger and observer 2-3 times in a helo and small, high wing airplane when the aircraft flow over the south rim. The immensity of the terrain and the steepness of the upper portion of the canyon walls puts your heart up in your throat."
At this point I've deleted the rest of the original post. I got into the old "rangers, foresters, the land management professionals are not recognized, appreciated, known for what they do" crap, wah, wah, wah, wah wah, thing. In my book that dubious honor belongs to teachers more than just about anyone else.