Echelon Shift Guide

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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:

  • Help with resources for on shift rangers (map, snacks, water, etc.)
  • Helps with radios (how to get, how to use, channels, troubleshooting problems)
  • Give out tee shirts & lams
  • Shift tracking: can help Khaki check rangers in on schedule; track & post (put on white board out front) post 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

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 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


Training is usually 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 event 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.

The Echelon Coordinators work closely with the Radio Core and the DPW Core. Contact the logistics team mailing list at or with any questions.

Radio Core

See Radio Tech for more detailed information on Firefly's radio setup.

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 2024 is Dox. If you have radio-specific questions you can email the radio leads at

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 (unless done by Khaki)

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

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

❐ Keep HQ tidy

❐ Update shifts needed white board

❐ Listen for calls for Khaki on Info

❐ 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.

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.


There is usually swag for volunteers to be handed out at their first shift.

Radio check out

  • To help aid in shift change, you can help make sure the designated Ranger radios are available and have fresh batteries
  • Radio Check (optional)
    • 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 but not useful response is “You have a radio”. We do not recommend this.

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.

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

Ranger Shift Check out

  • Remind rangers they are not off-shift until the have debriefed with Khaki
  • Remind rangers to check their next shift

Other Echelon Responsibilities & Resources

Radio troubleshooting

No one can hear me

  • Is the battery low?
  • Is it on the wrong channel?
  • Is the mic in securely?
  • Antenna held upwards, away from body?
  • Too close to body?

I can't hear anyone

  • Is the battery low?
  • Is the volume turned up?
  • Is it on the wrong channel?
  • Antenna held upwards, away from body?

Receive/transmit audio quality is poor

  • Swap out shoulder mic (if using)
  • Check for dirt or moisture

If none of these solve their problem, swap out the radio, send them on their way, and try the following:

HQ radio troubleshooting

  • 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!

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.

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]

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

Firefly HQ Set up and Breakdown Planning

HQ set up pic