The Department of the Interior recently gave out victim service awards to a number of people who helped other staffers following the Jan. 1 murder of Mount Rainier National Park ranger Margaret Anderson. The awards were handed outduring National Crime Victims’ Rights Week, April 22-28.
Among the honorees were responders and service providers during the aftermath of Anderson’s killing. A law enforcement ranger, Anderson died after being shot by Benjamin Colton Barnes. Anderson had set up a roadblock below Paradise after Barnes drove through a tire chain checkpoint near the Nisqually entrance. She is survived by her husband and two young daughers. Barnes was found dead the next day, his body partially submerged in a creek. He drowned after suffering from hypothermia.
One team award went to the Western Incident Management Team, whose members are Denny Ziemann, Kevin Killian, Roger Farmer, Paul Schwartz, Jill Ortiz, Chris Trotter, Jason Ramsdell, Luis Cuevas, Linda Birkett, Patti Wold, John Evans and John Piastuk.
Following Anderson’s death, the team provided support for the welfare of park staff by assisting with daily park operations, coordinated and facilitated the line of duty death functions and arranged for the memorial service for the family. The team also led search and rescue operations while park staff were still grieving and not back to full capacity.
Another team award was given to the Critical Incident Management Team. That team consisted of Dirk Wiley, Scott Teodorski, Chuck Carlson, Ralph Bell and Maria Mackie.
One individual who was recognized for his contributions in response to Anderson’s homicide was Dr. Jack Harris, a clinical psychologist.
The team helped the Anderson family, other park personnel, visitors to the park that day and the general public. A team member served as a family liaison in order to minimize and organize contacts made with the Anderson family. Other members provided updated information at stations Mount Rainier staffers. They also worked with the spouses of the other law enforcement rangers.
TRAIL WORK PARTY
The second Mount Rainier National Park Associates trail work party for the year will be Saturday.
Volunteers should meet at 8:30 a.m. and be ready to move out by 9 a.m. If you are taking part, tell the attendant at the gate that you will be working on a volunteer project. Volunteers enter the park for free.
Participants should be prepared for a hike to the work site. They should bring a lunch, plenty of fluids to drink, work gloves and safety glasses and a full set of rain gear.
For more information including the location, or to sign up, send an email to Jon Titland, the group’s volunteer coordinator, at firstname.lastname@example.org. Your email should include the number of volunteers you expect to accompany you so organizers can have enough tools on hand.