Numerous changes to the Visitor Assistance training program are included in ER/EP 1130-2-550, which was updated on 30 August 2008. The ER/EP requires new minimum standards for acquiring and maintaining citation authority. All Park Rangers are responsible for knowing and (through Corps management) meeting the new requirements of the Visitor Assistance training program contained in the ER/EP's.
There are two PROSPECT Training Courses related to the Visitor Assistance Program. The title, reference number, and schedule of upcoming classes follows:
Visitor Assistance for NRM, Course Control #147 This is the initial course for entry level Park Rangers, and is a minimum requirement within three years of hiring in order to receive/maintain Citation Authority. ALL students registering for this class MUST meet the perquisites to attend this course. Each student must provide Bill Jackson, Lead Visitor Assistance Instructor, a student background sheet prior to the course beginning date to ensure they meet the requirements to attend Course #147. Those who do not meet the requirements may attend, if space is available, but WILL NOT receive credit for attending the training. Course length is 40 hours, Monday-Friday.
Visitor Assistance Management and Policy, Course Control #324 This is course provides an overview of the Policies and Regulations Governing the Visitor Assistance Program and is designed for Program Managers, District and Division Staffers, Operations Project Managers, Lake/Park/Resource Managers and Senior Park Rangers who provide oversight for the Visitor Assistance program area. Course length is 20 hours, Wednesday Friday, noon.
Joint Training - Recommendations resulting from the 2010 Park Ranger Safety and Visitor Assistance survey included joint training with local law enforcement
The report read:
Provide joint training where possible with contractual law enforcement and Corps VA personnel on-site by project focused on priority violations and patrol procedures per contract specifications
Emphasize situational awareness training for Corps VA personnel to limit dangerous encounters that need law enforcement response
Build contract enforcement officers confidence in park ranger info/intelligence
Focus training on joint response to problems that rangers and managers identified as most frequently threatening Corps employees and visitors:
Alcohol/drug related issues
The authority for joint training with LE Contractors is already authorized by current ER/EP. Any such training presented must be appropriate to our level of authority. Please submit any joint training success stories and sample curriculums you have as a GETS and we will post here to share with others.
All the Safe Self scenarios formerly delivered on DVD can now be viewed at the link below. In the new viewable format, the quiz and certificate are not automatic. Your district may choose to have rangers verify the completion of Safe Self -- check with your district Park Ranger training coordinator for your local verification requirement.
You can watch the 16 scenario videos at this link. It is highly recommended that you download the scenarios if you plan to use them for a group presentation. You also have the option of burning a DVD once they are downloaded.