Citizens of Pyropolis – Ranger Blue Bonnet
Flipside is comprised of almost 3,000 participants over Memorial Day weekend not too far from Austin. We come together to share our gifts to the community- food and drink, art, performances, classes, and hugs and friendship to name a few. Some participants, like myself, gift their time to the community. On-site alone, over 6,000 hours are gifted to the community by volunteers to help our city be what it is. I volunteer with Rangers which is one of eight safety departments we have. Please find some information about this department below!
Who are Rangers?
Rangers are part of a volunteer safety team for Burning Flipside and are available 24/7 during Flipside. They walk in pairs around the city and interact with participants, camps and other volunteers.
How do I become a Ranger at Flipside?
Safetyside is the main training for all safety teams at Burning Flipside. It happens every April . At this event, you participate in different sessions to learn how safety teams work together, problems which might arise, and ways to handle those situations. First time Rangers are paired up with a mentor during their shifts. If you have done a training for UBS, Alma Burn, Myschievia, Freezer Burn, Oblivium, or Burning Man within the last year, you are eligible to ranger at Flipside. Please contact the Ranger lead to give him this information along with contact information of the lead. If you have not had a training within the last year but have rangered at least four shifts before and would like to ranger at Flipside, please contact the Ranger lead to let him know how many shifts you have done at which burns and the leads for those burns. There is a required on-site training on Friday. If you would like to Khaki/Ass-Khaki and you have done at least six dirt shifts (AK) or eight dirt shifts (Khaki) and have IS-100 training (https://training.fema.gov/is/courseoverview.aspx?code=IS-100.c), you can also do an on-site training on Friday. Email Rangerlead@burningflipside.com with your information or questions.
What do Rangers do?
Dirt Rangers walk around in pairs in the city and help everyone have a better burn. Each shift is six hours long and there are Rangers available 24/7 during the entire event. Pairs are assigned to different zones during their shifts.They remind folks to drink water, interact with camps, give out important information like weather reports and have a map to direct folks to where they want to go. Rangers also help mediate situations if needed. They are sober and always have a radio with them in case a participant needs other help. A Dirt Ranger might radio in for help if a branch falls in a camp; someone needs medical assistance; or a car needs to be towed out of the right-of-way and no one can find the owner. Dirt Rangers will help secure an area until someone else arrives to help. They might even ask you to help redirect folks to make sure they stay safe or don’t get in the way.
“Khaki” and “Assistant Khaki” (we call em Ass-Khaki) are Rangers who are at the Ranger HQ and they handle all the radio traffic from Dirt Rangers and help connect needed resources from other departments. For example, if a Dirt Ranger reports a downed branch which needs to be removed, Khaki will coordinate with site-ops who then has folks come out with the proper tools to remove the branch. It also works the other way. If a Flipizen goes to Ranger HQ to report something, Khaki will radio the nearest Rangers to have them check out the situation and help as needed. At the end of a shift, Khaki debriefs all the Rangers and helps transition from one shift to another. Khaki also keeps a log of all incidents which happen during a shift.
The Rangers may also at times interact with outside resources such as Medical, Fire, or Law Enforcement, should it be necessary.
There are some Rangers who have additional training from other departments. Green Dots can help with mental health issues; Blue Dots have basic first-aid; Red Dots have fire safety training and Silver Dots have training to help monitor sound levels.
Before the effigy burns, a couple dozen Rangers secure a burn perimeter. This ensures Flipizens are a safe distance away from the intense heat the effigy generates while burning and also from possible parts that fly off. There are also Dirt Rangers who wander through the city at this time too.
When should I contact a Ranger?
If you are concerned about your safety or the safety of another participant, find a Ranger. If you are unsure of the weather, ask a Ranger. Or, if you have excess food that needs consuming, we can radio for other volunteers to show up and help eat it. We are here to help connect you to resources you need!
How do I find a Ranger?
All on-shift Rangers wear a light-tan/khaki colored shirt which says, “Pyropolis Ranger” on it. Many also wear a khaki-colored Ranger hat with various burn patches on them. Some of them sport utilikilts or tutus. Others wear skirts or shorts and still other wear funky socks.They will be in pairs and have radios. Sometimes you can find them “Rangering the shade” which means they’re taking a break from walking, having something to eat and rehydrating while talking to Flipizens. You can always find Rangers at the Ranger HQ which is located next to PETs (medical tent) and Sanctuary (mental health tent) close to the effigy field. You can also stop anyone with a radio and ask them to radio for a Ranger and the closest pair will come over and provide needed assistance.
Remember, Rangers and all other volunteers are here to make Pyropolis better. Don’t hesitate to ask someone about their department if you’re curious. And never hesitate to ask a Ranger for help or just strike up a short conversation.
Blue Bonnet Clear.