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ACFL Maintenance Report JULY – 2021 by Steve Phillips <br />JULY 28, 2021 <br /> <br />Patrols. <br />The usual business this time of year is patrolling. We patrol, our parking lots and heavily used <br />lakeside areas for three main purposes: <br />• To ensure that our users are keeping themselves safe; <br />• To ensure that users’ behavior is not impacting the safety and enjoyment of other users; and <br />• To ensure that users’ behavior is not impacting the well-being of the resource. <br /> <br />Sometimes it feels like we are babysitting, when we return to the Cliffs at Whistle Lake for the 5 th <br />time that afternoon to “inform” people that alcohol is not allowed and to ask them to dispose of the <br />contents of their open cans with a stern warning not to drink anything else they may have. <br />We had an unusual occurrence last weekend when a patrol resulted in our staff being the first <br />responder to a 911 call. A park user called dispatch to report that they needed help due to a <br />potential overdose that had taken effect to proportions enough to induce fear in the individual. <br />As it happened, we had the assistance of APD Officer Packard, who had signed u p for a Parks- <br />sponsored overtime shift to assist in weekend patrols in the ACFL. He got the notification from <br />Dispatch and called me for assistance. The location the individual had given Dispatch was confusing, <br />and Officer Packard would have walked to the other side of the lake if he had followed the <br />individual’s instructions. I had our seasonal Gabe call him back (I was offsite at the time of the call). <br />While on the phone with Officer Packard, Gabe walked directly to the individual needing help. <br />They teamed up to carry the individual out and shuttle him far enough to where an ambulance <br />could receive him. <br />This unusual circumstance – a park user overdosing and needing assistance – could have resulted far <br />differently without the combining factors of regular patrols and onsite APD presence. Time was of <br />the essence and the response time was minimal. <br />Bob will surely elaborate more in his report about how these patrols have come to pass, so I’ll defer <br />to him there. We have already discussed among ourselves how utterly invaluable it has been to <br />have an officer standing by our side when we walk, even just for routine conversations with park <br />users. It is my strong hope that this trend continues when things get busy and hectic in the <br />Forestlands. Because they do. <br />Drought, Fire prevention <br />This is on the forefront of our minds each day as we patrol. “Fire” is a four-letter word that we don’t <br />want to think about, but we have to prepare ourselves as much as possible for the thought. We <br />have a smokechaser pack and portable pump with about 250 feet of hose to assist if needed. The <br />main thing we can do is ensure, as above, that users’ behavior is not impacting the resource, and <br />that we stop problems before they start. Last summer it was a charcoal fire at the Cliffs, and this <br />year a similar effort was stopped on the eastern shore of Whistle Lake. Three of us were on lookout <br />until midnight on the 4th of July. Gabe reported that one person asked permission to light fireworks <br />from the summit of Mount Erie. He was denied, of course. <br />Maintenance <br />Gabe and Alli have done most of the work on what I’m calling the Green Mile – repainting the <br />handrails on the summit of Mount Erie. Painting is the easy part – first we scrape off paint flakes, <br />then we clean with a scrubby sponge to remove lichen/scum/buildup, then we spray with a rust <br />neutralizer. Then it gets a coat of oil-based paint. Some sections need rail replacement, and in some <br />places the concrete footing has rotted. But overall the condition of the railing is good. As of today, <br />the longest of them is complete and we will continue as time allows.