by Pete Lumos Wyatt
I have talked about Dirt/Dust Rangers who walk the Paddock/Playa (that is my passion), Shift leads who work with the event managers, Dust leads who are senior problem solvers but there is so many more skills and variation in the Ranger Family, and yes we are a family within the greater Burn family, because we know what it is like when things go bad we are extra caring and supportive of our family who sometimes see and experience the dark side of the Burn.
Green Dot is common name given to Rangers with empathy who have extra training to help deal with participants who physically, emotionally or spiritually are not handling the situation well. The Burn can bring many changes to a participant and it is not always easy or comfortable, so we are there to hold space, hold their hand, encourage them to find warmth or assist them to find additional help in places like their camp, Sanctuary or even medics.
At bigger Burns like Burning Seed and AfrikaBurn, the radio traffic for the shift lead can get hectic, so a separate role often known as Quartermaster was created to look after the paperwork, keep radios charged, assign gear at the start of a shift and tick it off afterwards.
You may also find yourself dealing with participants who walk up to the Ranger office with their problems.
Because we are at a Burn, we want to burn stuff and this is where Fire Rangers come into play. There are different types of these requiring different skill levels. Yes it is true that on the inside of the fire perimeter you don’t get to see the wonders of the burn directly because you always have your back to the fire, though you do get a wonderful alternative not many others see, you get to see the faces of the participants as they experience the burn and you see the burn reflecting in their eyes and sometimes their tears.
The first level is fire perimeter crew – you are the first row of people inside the sacred safety perimeter and are only looking outwards at the participants. Quad leaders are there to literally watch their backs (and heads) because sometimes fiery stuff will come raining down from the sky! A good quad lead is also watching out for the physical and emotional needs of their team.
The final row is the Sandmen or Fireflies – this team are experienced in the ways of fire and there to stop a disturbed participant coming to harm.
Blessings in the dust – Lumos