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Kern Back In Business: Kern County hiring new park rangers

Posted at 7:44 AM, Jul 01, 2019
and last updated 2019-08-12 09:09:18-04

BAKERSFIELD, Calif. — Nature lovers here’s a job for you. Kern County is looking to hire park rangers to protect their parks. The county is looking to transition their park rangers from a temporary job to a permanent county position. And while they do they’re looking to add more rangers to better patrol the parks.

Shane Denton is the chief park ranger for Kern County. Talking with the park patrons is a big portion of his job. He asked some guests at Hart Park, “Did you guys have a fun time? Did you? OK, great. I appreciate it. You guys have a great day.”

It's the Kern County park rangers' job to protect and service people spending their day in the parks.

“Make sure that they have a safe environment to camp in and to enjoy their stay. That’s basically our main function and to educate them.” Denton

Denton said his park rangers focus on three main parks in Kern County, Hart Park, Lake Isabella and Buena Vista Lake. During the summer a lot of the rangers focus is on river safety.

Denton advised other parkgoers, “That water is very deceiving. You know it may look calm, but you can get easily swept away from the current.”

Kern County currently has twelve park rangers patrolling their parks. County officials are hiring eight more rangers so they can make the parks safer.

“Our goal," said Denton, "is to get our permanent staffing up to twenty is what we would like in the future. One of the main goals is to staff Hart Park 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.”

Devin Brown is the chief human resources officer for Kern County. He said applicants can apply online for those eight positions, which include general park ranger and senior park ranger.

“You have to have basic first aid and CPR certification to qualify and then there’s a high school GED requirement as well to qualify for the entry-level. But there’s no experience necessary,” said Brown

There's more to the application process than just the online form. Denton said there are a couple of tests.

“Other than the application process we’ll have a written test. Once you pass the written test you’ll go on to a physical agility, which includes a swim and an obstacle course. And the top candidates will be hired. And they will be placed into a field training program to start their career as a park ranger,” said Denton.

Brown said the application deadline is this Wednesday July 3rd. Once they get their applications they’ll begin the hiring process. If you do apply Denton has this suggestion for you.

“To be a good swimmer," said Denton. "Our swimming test is pretty tough. So you’re going to want to have some good cardio and be in good physical condition.”

If you do get hired brown says being a park ranger is a good way to be introduced to a career in law enforcement.

To apply online visit the Kern County Career Opportunities page.