Echelon Shift Guide

From Rangers
Jump to: navigation, search

2016 Echelon Shift Guide for Reference

Overview of the Ranger Echelon Role

Thank you for volunteering for a Ranger Echelon Shift!

Your role is to support Khaki and the rest of the Rangers by keeping Ranger HQ running smoothly and effectively, especially during shift changes.  The role is similar to an office manager: Echelon Rangers are masters of organization, resource and asset tracking. They keep chaos out of HQ.

Echelon tasks:

  • Manages radios:  Checking in and out, charging batteries, and troubleshooting problems
  • Give out tee shirts & lams
  • Shift tracking: checks rangers in on schedule, tracks shifts that need to be filled
  • Be present at HQ while Khaki steps away
  • Fields walk-up questions
  • Let Khaki know if they hear a call for Khaki that they do not respond to
  • Help with resources for on shift rangers (map, snacks, water, etc.)
  • Help Khaki with tracking volunteer shifts
  • Resource for knowing Radio Channels
  • Lost & Found Log (and holds onto valuables)

Eligibility to be an Echelon Ranger

Echelon Rangers should have good organizational skills and be comfortable using Radios and explaining how to use them to others.  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 [[1]].


There will be a couple on-site scheduled trainings, but most training is on-the-job, by shadowing another Echelon Ranger.  We suggest reviewing all documentation here and in links at the end, and making sure you have experience using Baofeng BF888 & UV5R Radios before your scheduled shift.  Especially take a look at Firefly Radio Basics Handout: you should be very comfortable with all of this, since you may need to explain any of this material to volunteers.

Echelon Coordination

Echelon is part of Ranger Logistics and reports to the Logistics Lead/Echelon Coordinators.  For 2016, the Ranger Logistics Team Lead/Echelon Lead Coordinator is Ranger Spaceman, and is assisted by Ranger Dolphin & Ranger Kerberos (Echelon Assistant Coordinators.)

The Echelon Coordinators work closely with the Radio Core and the DPW Core. Contact [[2]] with any questions.

Radio Core

The Radio Core handles year-round Radio maintenance and procurement, and will be available for on-site set up and consultation.  The Radio Core lead for 2016 is Jesse Campbell.   If you have radio-specific questions you can email the radio leads at [[3]], or the Radio Core discussion list at [[4]].

Logistics of the Echelon Shift: 4.5 hour shifts that overlap

Because the shift change is the busiest part of the shift, we ask that volunteers for Echelon arrive 15-20 minutes before the scheduled shift change, and plan to stay 15-20 minutes after the shift change.  So your Echelon shift is actually 4½ hours long, and covers TWO Ranger shift changes.

If you look at the shift check-list, you will notice that a large portion of the tasks are to be done during this half hour overlap period at the beginning of your shift, and then at the beginning of the next shift.  This overlap is so that 1) we have enough staff to fulfill the tasks in a timely manner; and 2) for training purposes, since many Echelon Rangers coming on-shift are likely to not be familiar with the role.

Echelon Shift Checklist

Echelon Shift Checklist to be completed for each shift-will be laminated & on the cork board next to the Echelon desk.  Erase old list and fill out anew for each shift.


❐ Clean & refill out the Echelon shift checklist on the cork board

❐ Outgoing Echelon to give instructions & updates to Incoming Echelon

❐ Prep radios for incoming shift change

❐ Shift change: check off Rangers on schedule

❐ Shift change: give out Radios, t-shirts, etc..(see Volunteer shift change checklists)

POWER: If Incoming hasn’t done these before, Outgoing must stay on for these tasks

❐ Add gas to top off extension tank attached to generator

❐ After filling, if there is little or no gas left in gas can: Call DPW on Radio, say HQ will need more gas [Note time of call & who responded in Echelon log.]

❐ Check/charge deep cycle batteries

❐ Nighttime: turn on lights   ❐ Morning: turn off lights


❐ Charge radios/batteries

❐ Check/get refill of water jug (ask Gnomes!)

❐ Keep HQ tidy

❐ Update shifts needed white board

❐ Listen for calls for Khaki on SAFETY1 & MURS1

❐ Check with Khaki if they need help with anything

❐ Tell Khaki about anything of note while they weren’t at HQ

Echelon Shift Log

This is NOT the “Ranger Log”.  It is for Echelon Rangers to communicate with other Echelon Rangers; and can be used as a temporary notebook for information to be added to the Khaki log.  See the Echelon Log cover sheet.  Use loose-leaf pages for the log.

Volunteer Shift Change Responsibilities

See Echelon Checklists for Rangers & other volunteers coming on-shift

Tee shirts

Echelon handles t-shirts for all Safety Teams.  Give T-shirts to Safety Team volunteers who don’t already have them, including Alphas.  (If Alphas don’t pass their shift, they will be asked to return the shirt.)  Ask the volunteer what size.  Only 1 t-shirt per volunteer per core they volunteer for.

  • Khaki/Beige/Tan: Rangers
    • Khaki with BLACK writing: these are special glow-in the dark t-shirts for 2-6AM Rangers only!
  • Dark Blue with cross: Medical
  • Red with flame: FAST
  • Green with heart: Sanctuary

Laminates (Lams)

Echelon also handles Laminates for all Safety Teams.  There should already be Lams for most volunteers; if not, use a blank lam and have them write in their handle with a sharpie.

Radio check out

  • Channels: Channel preset is based on core.
    • All Safety Cores, and Board on Call and Event Lead, should be set to SAFETY1
    • GGGP: Gate, Greeters, Parking, Gnomes, Security.
  • Optional Accessories: Mics or headsets as requested.
  • Optional reference materials: (try to get these back after shift)
    • Radio Reference Card
    • Radio Basics sheet
    • Firefly Radio for All booklet
  • Skills check: Check that they know how to adjust volume, change channels
    • They should know everything in Firefly Radio Basics
    • Contact Echelon for Radio Problems
    • Radio operation: on & off, volume, ptt button
    • How to make a call:
      • “Khaki, Khaki, this is ____”.
    • Don’t use participant names, profanity, etc.
  • Radio Check: Ask each person who gets a radio to do a radio check with you [Echelon]
    • Have the volunteer use channel they will be on, or IF RADIO TRAFFIC IS HEAVY, switch to TAC2 (or another channel with no current radio traffic)
    • Respond: “I hear you loud & clear” unless there’s a problem, in which case see “Problems with Radios” and “Troubleshooting” below.
    • A common response is “You have a radio”, but this is not helpful and just snarky: Please DO NOT use this response.
    • Have the volunteer switch the channel to their core’s channel
    • You can suggest that the volunteer do a radio check for range on SAFETY1 to Khaki when they get to their location.
  • If there is a shortage of long antennas: check out one long and one short antenna to each ranger pair.

Additional Ranger Items (Map, Notebook, Checklist, Swag Bag)

These are optional to offer to Rangers:

  • Map
  • Notebook & Pen (Rangers should have brought their own, but we’ll have a supply in case.)
  • Ranger shift check-list
  • There are swag bags with dogtag, stickers, and button.  Can take an extra if request it.
  • If anyone ASKS for a pin (last year’s swag), there should be a small supply for them to take one.
  • NEW FOR 2016!  GLOW T-SHIRTS, only for those doing a 2am-6am shift (all roles.)

Ranger Shift Schedule Check-in

  • Check in using the Ranger schedule (clipboard) using ✓and/or highlight in green
  • Check that Ranger has completed training
  • Check schedule for next shift
  • Tell Ranger to check with Khaki

Radio return

  • Update radio sign-out sheet: fill in row & cross through with marker
  • Ask if there were any problems with the radio, and make notes if there were
    • Use RED DUCT TAPE & sharpie to label with problem
  • Get back booklets, reference cards, etc.
  • Take returned radio, remove battery and replace with new fully charged one from green bin
  • Radio with fresh battery can be added to hanging radio queue.
  • Put used battery in charger or in red bin to be charged
  • If there were problems, try troubleshooting (below) and/or mark with red tape
  • Wipe down the radio & accessories with a sanitary wipe.

Ranger Shift Check out

  • Remind rangers they are not off-shift until the have debriefed with Khaki
  • Remind rangers of their next shift (included in Radio Check-in log)

Other Radio Responsibilities & Resources

Firefly Radio Channels 2017

Channel number* Channel name Description Frequency Radio Core/Echelon Notes
0 MURS1 MURS1-Theme camp to Khaki (Not on BF888, UV5Rs only) 151.82 To be monitored by Khaki and Echelon (to tell Khaki).  Cannot be used on BF888s, since is VHF; use UV5Rs.
1 SAFETY1 All Safety: Rangers, First Aid, Fire Core, Event lead; Use to call Khaki/report emergencies. 469.50, offset by 5.0 for repeater Can only be used with the repeater (split frequency).
2 TAC1ICS TAC 1 For ICS Emergency 451.80 Should only be used when ICS is activated.
3 SANCT TAC2/Sanctuary/GTFO (EA & Exodus) 451.8125 Supervisors should have UV5R that also is on SAFETY1.
4 BOARD Board on call 456.80 If Board needs to be involved in an incident, Khaki can ask them to switch to another channel.
5 DPW&SND DPW & Sound 456.8125 DPW will need their own channel through Sunday evening.
6 GGGP Gate Greeters Gnomes Parking 464.55 Also security.
7 WAKE Sleeping, Call to Wake 469.55 Use for volunteers on-call; keep this low traffic during the event.  May be used during Exodus.
8 WEATHER Weather 162.40 Not on BF888 because VHF

CSV of Radio Frequencies (UV5R version)

*Please note: while the channel numbers above will correspond to the numbers on the knobs on any radios without screens, please use CHANNEL NAMES, NOT NUMBERS when asking someone to switch channels.

Early Arrival & Exodus Differences in Channels

During Early Arrival and Exodus, Sanctuary will be on SAFETY1.

During Early Arrival and Exodus, GTFO will be on TAC2 (SANCT).

During Exodus LNT will be on WAKE.

Problems with Signed-Out Radios

If a Ranger/Core member is having a problem with a radio while on shift, they should:

  • Check with their partner to troubleshoot radio for functionality or lack of power:
    • Is the battery low?
    • Is the volume turned down?
    • Is it on the wrong channel?
    • Is the mic in securely?
    • Antenna held upwards?
    • Too close to body?
    • Baofeng UV5Rs: Is it in frequency mode instead of channel mode?
      • Unlock & push the VFO/MR button
  • Use partner’s working radio to report problem, and stop by Ranger HQ to obtain a new radio/fresh battery depending on the nature of the problem

Troubleshooting problems with returned radios

  • Try these things in order; try an extra turning off & on again between steps:
    • 1 Turn off & on again;
    • 2 Turn off, replace batteries, turn on again;
    • 3 Turn off, remove microphone, turn on again;
    • 4 Turn off, replace antenna, turn on again;
    • 5 Check channel is set to the correct station and locked correctly
  • If none of those work: mark any equipment still having problems with red tape and put aside for a Radio tech. Note down what the observed problem is in the Echelon log!

Charge Radio batteries & Routine Radio Maintenance

  • Wipe off radios & equipment with sanitizing wipes between users
  • Put radios on charging station
  • Charged radios in radio queue (i.e., hanging shoe holder.)
  • Charged radios/batteries go in green bin, batteries needing charging are in red bin
  • Switch out based on indicator lights on chargers (red is charging, green is charged)
  • Baofeng UV5R-V2+: Extended batteries work better in the UV5R V2+s than the UV5Rs. Don’t give out the extended batteries (~2” longer than normal batteries) unless specifically requested or if there are no more charged batteries left. Since there are only a few of them, we try to save them for Khaki/OOD and others with long shifts.

Prepare & Queue Radios for Shifts

Use the hanging Radio Queue (hanging shoe holder) to queue up radios for oncoming shifts.

Different Types of Radios for Different Cores

  • Baofeng BF888s: ALL (note: can only use UHF, can’t do MURS)
  • Baofeng uv5R/UV5RV2+-Khaki (can do MURS1)
  • Baofeng UV5RV2+, can use extended batteries- if requested
  • THEME CAMPS: If a theme camp requests a radio, give them one with just MURS1 programmed

Channels for Different Cores

All Rangers, Medical, Sanctuary, FAST and Event Lead: SAFETY1 (Ch1)

Khaki: Use a UV5R radio labeled “Khaki” (with A as SAFETY1, B as MURS1 (dual scan mode?)

Board-on-Call: BOARD (Ch 4)

DPW & Sound: DPW & Sound (Ch 5)

Gate Greeter Parking Gnomes Security: GGGP (Ch 6)

Theme camps: MURS1 only (give out a UV5R with MURS1 only)

Shift change schedules

Shift changes for cores that will most likely come to HQ:

  • Ranger shift change schedule: Every 4 hours (2:00, 6:00, 10:00)
    • Ranger Supervisor change: OOD (noon), Khaki (midnight, 8am, 5pm)
  • Medical shift change schedule:
    • Medical Supervisor change:
  • Sanctuary shift change schedule:
    • Sanctuary Supervisor change:
  • FAST shift change schedule:
    • FAST supervisor change:
  • Board on Call:

Shift changes for cores likely to call in a switch (encourage to come by to get a new battery at least; they definitely should call in the change to say who is on shift):

  • Gate
  • Greeters
  • Parking
  • Security
  • Gnomes
  • Sometimes Medical, FAST & Sanctuary later in the event

You may find the need to dispatch a new radio/battery to Gate, Security, or Parking (they’re unlikely to come to the ranger station in person). Note down the change, send a Gnome with the new radio/battery, and make sure you get the old radio/battery back.

Baofeng BF888 Diagram

Baofeng UV5R Series Radio Diagram-For Khaki Radio only

Radio Docs

Firefly Radio Basics

Firefly Radio for everyone 2014

Radio Reference Card 2016-print version

Burning man radio training:



Baofeng UV5Rs Operation & Maintenance Tips

Other Echelon Responsibilities & Resources


The generator at HQ is a Honda EU1000i, with an extended fuel tank.  It will need to be running continuously, as much as possible, during the whole event, in order to power the Radio Repeater as well as charge Radio batteries and batteries for lights.

You should know how to start and stop the generator, although you probably will not need to during your shift, as with the extended gas tank we can add to that without turning off the generator.

Near the beginning of each Echelon Shift (after all Rangers are checked in for their shift), you should top off the gas in the extended gas tank.  If you use up most or all of the gas in the 5 gallon gas can while doing this, you should radio to DPW to let them know that HQ will need more gas.

  • Refueling generator via extended tank
    • You should not need to turn generator off
    • Open extension fuel container
    • Add gas from 5 gallon gas can; use the funnel to reduce spillage
    • If there is little or no gas left after that, call DPW on the radio to say we will need more gas, and include in the Echelon Log.
  • Refueling generator directly (if needed)
    • Turn generator off
    • Open fuel container
    • Check level (if already full, don’t need to add more)
    • Add more gas up to below fill line
    • Close cover.
    • IF YOU SPILL GAS ON THE GENERATOR: Wait for it to evaporate before turning generator back on!!!
    • Keep the gas cans at least 5-10 feet from the generator.
    • Restart generator.
  • Starting generator (if needed)

HQ generator should be on at all times; follow these steps if it is shut off (or turns off) and needs to be restarted

    • UNPLUG: Make sure nothing is plugged into generator.
    • Make sure there is no spilled gas.
    • Eco mode: OFF
    • Fuel cap vent : ON
    • Engine switch: ON
    • Choke: OFF
    • Pull Starter grip (like starting a lawnmower).
    • If trouble starting, can turn choke on, and then off when it is started.
    • When the green light turns on (about 1 min), change to Eco Mode ON
    • Now okay to plug in extension cord.
  • Turning generator off (or if it turns off)
    • Unplug devices
    • Engine Switch: OFF
    • Fuel cap vent: OFF
  • If it rains: Make sure generator is covered by a tarp. (Moving not recommended.)

Turning lights on and off

The lights will need to be turned on each night (about 9 pm):

  • Plug in the xmas lights to extension cord (AC, off generator)
  • Two deep-cycle 12 volt batteries in the wooden boxes:
    • Turn power on (switch)
    • Check battery level--should be full (over 12.5V-check battery box for usual max)
      • If it’s below 11V please recharge instead of turning on
    • Turn on led lights (switch)
    • Turn on banner black lights by connecting cable to battery (see instructions on cord/box)

Turning off in the morning (about 6am):

  • Unplug xmas lights
  • Turn off and charge batteries if needed
    • Turn off LEDs
    • Unplug blacklights
    • If battery is less than 12.3V, please recharge (below)

Charging deep-cycle batteries for lights

  • See documentation at specific battery for details.
  • Attach batteries to generator when generator is already on
  • Detach batteries when batteries are fully charged (12.7 V-see log on box)

Lost & Found Items

Lost & Found Log: LOST Items [L & F binder]

Lost & Found Log: FOUND Items [L & F binder]

  • Use Blue log for lost and found items for the when, where, and whom of how it was recovered.
  • Use medium size ziplock bags for valuables (camera, car keys, etc) and stored at HQ on the Radio Equipment shelf.
  • Non valuable/critical items should be placed at the main Lost and Found box at Bass Camp.

Walk-up questions

  • You can field questions from participants who walk-up
  • If you don’t know an answer, try to figure out who should be asked
  • If it’s something worth noting, add it to the Echelon logs and to the Khaki log.

Assisting Khaki with Updating Ranger Log & Summary Sheets

  • The Ranger Log stays with Khaki and/or KIT at all times.
  • If you have something to be added to the Ranger Log (walk-up issue, call, etc.) tell Khaki; if they aren’t at HQ, you can add it to the Echelon log and then tell Khaki when they return.
  • You might help Khaki figure out who is on shift, including for other Cores.

Schedule changes & Shift Coverage Needed Board

If someone does not show for their shift, or reports that they will not be able to do the shift they signed up for:

  • Post that Shift on the Shift Coverage Needed whiteboard
  • Make a note in the schedule

Fill water jug

Coordinate with Bass Camp (formerly Kitchen) to get gallon water jug filled; can ask Gnomes for help.


You may be asked for keys to one of the ATVs. If you’re unsure whether someone should be driving the ATV, ask Khaki or the OOD.  Keys with TJ, call on radio.


There will be a computer available that will be able to:

  • Program Radios
  • View personnel documents (offline)
  • Khakis can use word for typing detailed logs if they want
  • Internet not provided: If needed you could find someone who can create a wifi hotspot, but we aren’t setting this up.

Instructions will be with the computer.

Keep HQ Tidy

  • Keep the tables clear of clutter
  • Don’t allow Rangers to leave trash at HQ-including Echelon Rangers.  LNT!


  • Listen and assist Khaki as needed
  • Khaki may ask you to bring the cell phone or AED to the incident site
  • See FERN (Firefly Emergency Resource Notebook)
  • See Khaki Manual and emergency forms as needed

FERN (Will be added in print version)

Links to Echelon-Related Documents

Echelon Checklist for Rangers & other volunteers coming on-shift

Echelon Shift Checklist [Laminated, Hang on cork board]

Firefly Ranger ECHELON Log Binder Cover sheet Echelon binder]

Radio check out/check in template [Radio binder]

Lost & Found Log: LOST Items [L & F binder]

Lost & Found Log: FOUND Items [L & F binder]

FERN (Firefly Emergency Resources Notebook) [access limited, will be printed in Echelon log]

Firefly HQ Set up and Breakdown Planning

HQ set up pic

2016 Echelon Shift Guide

Archived 2015 Echelon Guide

Archived 2014 Echelon Guide