My “art” is community service, which I’ve had the privilege to do as:

  • a volunteer ambulance staffer in high school
  • an emergency medical technician (EMT) and emergency room volunteer in San Francisco
  • a participant in the Wilderness Medical Institute
  • wilderness search-and-rescue and human-tracker for BAMRU, the Bay Area Mountain Rescue Unit
  • since 1996 a Black Rock Ranger at the annual Burning Man festival in Nevada

For the Rangers — and the intertwined Emergency Services Department (ESD) — I do, and have done:

  • city patrol (Dirt Ranger)
  • radio dispatcher
  • medic (Blue Dot Ranger)
  • various incident command (ICS) roles
  • Ranger Shift Lead (Khaki Ranger)
  • mental emergency shift lead & on-scene crisis intervention (Green Dot Ranger)
  • Law Enforcement Agency Liaison (LEAL Ranger)
  • special crisis resolution (Envoy Ranger)
  • event ejection, as the last resort (007 Ranger)

The Rangers’ primary mission is to enable the community participants to work out issues together, by themselves. Active listening and peer counseling techniques are our main techniques. By and large, the participants want to peacefully resolve problems, and our role is to lead the aggrieved parties to a mutually-acceptable situation.

Secondary missions include protecting the construction site of the Burning Man:

And the Man once he’s been built and placed so he can watch over Black Rock City:

I’d say it’s not all rainbows and unicorns, but sometimes there are rainbows:

Rangers are also used at related official events. Here I’m wearing a “Special Event Ranger” tee-shirts at a Burning Man Decompression event in San Francisco; Damon is wearing the ESD yellow:

I’ve also “Rangered” at the Afrikaburn festival in the Tankwa Karoo National Park in South Africa, where we wear orange Ranger shirts (rather than the khaki we sport at the main Nevada event).