At-Event Ranger Roles

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This section describes different roles that rangers take on at Firefly, including the responsibilities and eligibility requirements for those roles.

YOU ONLY NEED TO READ THE BOLD SUMMARIES, to become familiar with the lingo for the roles. If you are interested in a particular role, read the more detailed description.

To sign up for a role, see the section on Shift sign-up.

To read more about dirt Rangering, continue on to the next page: Rangerly and Unrangerly Behavior

Alpha Dirt Rangers

4 hour shifts

Summary: New Rangers!

Details for those interested in role: If you have not rangered before but have been to Firefly and have received training, that makes you an Alpha Ranger! For your first shift this year, please sign-up in an ALPHA shift.

During your Alpha shift, you will walk with a more experienced Ranger or two (khaki may ask you to switch partners during your Alpha shift). You will wear a light green-colored ranger shirt, carry a radio, and do your best at balancing a funny combo: knowing when to stay out of the way of everyone else's burn and how to be available to help others upon request.

For your second or third+ shift in your first year as a Ranger (aka: a Shiny Penny), you are welcome to sign up as a Dirt Ranger - you are not yet eligible to be a Mentor, Khaki-in-Training, or Khaki. Please don’t sign up for the shift that starts immediately after your alpha shift - leave at least one shift in between your Alpha shift and your next shift.

Dirt Rangers

4 hour shifts

Summary: Basic Ranger Shift

Details for those interested in role: Dirt Rangers are the backbone of the Firefly Rangers. They serve as the eyes & ears of the Firefly Community. They rise from the dirt mud when needed and fade back into the dirt mud when they are not. First, and most importantly, they do nothing. Only after doing nothing will they follow (as necessary) the basic guidelines of FLAME: Find Out, Listen, Analyze, Mediate, Explain. They have radios to assist in calling for help when requested and are supported at the event by Echelon at Ranger HQ, Khaki in charge of the shift, and the rest of Ranger leadership. Dirt Rangers ranger in pairs (or sometimes threes.)

First year Rangers are welcome to work this shift after completing their first Alpha Dirt Ranger shift.

If you have rangered at least one previous year, are comfortable mentoring, and there are alphas, any dirt ranger shift can also be a mentor shift--talk to Khaki.


4.5 hours shifts

Summary: Helps out at HQ

Details for those interested in role: Echelon serves the Dirt Rangers in the field by staying at HQ, helping volunteer get radios, T-shirts & lams, handling walk-up issues, working with Khaki to maintain the shift logs, and other general infrastructure support. The role is similar to an office manager: Echelon Rangers are masters of organization, resource and asset tracking. They keep chaos out of HQ.

Because the shift change is the busiest part of the shift, volunteers for Echelon must arrive 15-20 minutes before the scheduled shift change and stay 15-20 minutes after the shift change.

Please review the Echelon Shift Guide before your shift (there is a binder of information for you at HQ).

Second year Rangers and beyond are very welcome to do an Echelon Shift. If this is your first year as a Ranger but have a lot of experience at Firefly and want to do an Echelon shift once you have completed your alpha shift, or if you have any questions about Echelon, contact the Echelon Coordinator by emailing the Ranger Logistics Team at

Mentor Dirt Rangers

4 hour shifts

Summary: Dirt ranger, partnered with an alpha

Details for those interested in role: Mentor Dirt Rangers walk their shift with Alphas, share and discuss experiences of what it means to be a Ranger, and collaborate with an Alpha and Khaki to evaluate the Alpha’s readiness as a Ranger.

If you have rangered at at least one previous Firefly AND feel you have enough experience to train and evaluate an Alpha, please considering Mentoring during your shift.

You can be a mentor on any dirt shift--just check in with Khaki! However, we’ve specified mentor for one role each shift so we know we have at least one willing mentor available.

See the Mentor Guidelines, including an optional checklist.


4 hour shifts

Summary: Training to be Shift Lead

Details for those interested in role: Khaki-in-Training (KITs) are just what you would think: Rangers learning to be Khaki by shadowing the current Khaki.

If you have rangered two previous years and are interested in learning how, please sign up for a Khaki-in-training shift. You should also take the Intro to Khaki training module offered several times leading up to Firefly and review the Intro to Khaki materials.

If you are experienced as a Khaki, you can also sign up for this shift--you will be considered an Assistant Khaki.


6 hour shifts

Summary: Shift Lead

Details for those interested in role: Khaki serves all on shift Rangers as the Ranger dispatch. Khaki is always available as a resource to all Rangers on duty and acts as a liaison to other cores and the Firefly Board during that shift.

Khaki may change during a shift (for example, the OOD may become Khaki if the current Khaki needs to handle something specific, or a KIT may cover as Khaki temporarily). Khaki may also be mobile as long as there is coverage at Ranger HQ.

Shifts are 6 hours, offset from dirt ranger shift change.

Requirements for Khaki include 3+ years of rangering, two previous KIT shifts, and Intro to Khaki.

All Khakis should take the Intro to Khaki training module offered several times leading up to Firefly, and it is recommended to take the Advanced Khaki modules. You may also want to review the Basic ICS (I & II) and Advanced ICS (II & IV) materials. Email for questions.

Relevant trainings:

Ranger Roles Eligibility Policy

Our current policy regarding eligibility for Ranger roles, which is subject to review each year.

Firefly Participation

Every Alpha/Ranger must have attended Firefly before or have experience Rangering at another burn.

Basic Training

Every year, all Firefly Rangers must take either:

All Alphas and 2nd year Rangers must ALSO take either:

  • Basic Ranger Skills [Formerly Known As Mediation 101] or
  • BRC Ranger training.

All returning Rangers must have taken full Ranger training (including Basic Ranger Skills [FKA Mediation 101]) or BRR twice total, at least once in the past 3 years.

Rangers who have 2 years of recent Rangering experience AND have taken training twice in the past 4 years are not required to take Basic Ranger Skills but are encouraged to take an advanced training module instead of Basic Ranger Skills.

Special Teams

Rangers with at least 1 full year experience and now in their second year (have completed their first year Rangering and have rangered at least 2 shifts) are eligible to be Mentors, Echelon, members of the Ranger teams, and/or members of the Ranger Council.


Eligibility requirements include:

  • At least 2 full years of Rangering experience (minimum of 4 shifts), and
  • Have taken Intro to Khaki


Eligibility requirements include:

  • At least 2-3 years of Rangering experience (minimum of 6 shifts), and
  • Have taken Intro to Khaki, and
  • Have completed 2 Khaki-in-Training shifts with at least 2 different Khakis.


The Ranger Council may accept or decline, by majority vote, requests for exceptions to above rules, and/or any Ranger's eligibility for any Ranger role.

Possible qualifications for exceptions to the above rules include but are not limited to:

  • Experience as a Black Rock Ranger
  • Experience Rangering at other regional burns
  • Demonstrated exceptional skills and abilities relative to the particular Ranger role

Please contact the Ranger Council to request an exception:

Inverted Pyramid: All Roles support the Dirt Rangers

Dirt Rangers are the heart and soul of the Ranger Organization. Dirt Rangers are our trained volunteers wandering the event and interacting with participants - all other Ranger roles support them. The Ranger organizational structure can be thought of as an inverted pyramid, with Dirt Rangers at the TOP (along with Echelon), supported by Khaki (shift lead), who is supported by the OOD (Officer of the Day--Not a ranger role, but they support Rangers). Everyone is supported by the Ranger Lead and Ranger XO.

The final piece of this org chart is at the very bottom, supporting everything - the Firefly Ranger Council, comprised of each of the six Ranger Team Leads, the Ranger Lead, and the Ranger XO. Lastly, the Firefly Ranger Council is supported by the Firefly Community at Large.

Continue on to the next page: Rangerly and Unrangerly Behavior