Fernando Gomez began his 18-year career as a youth-in-training with the Mountains Recreation and Conservation Authority
Los Angeles–At a swearing-in ceremony at the Los Angeles River Center and Gardens last week, Fernando Gomez was named Chief Ranger of the Mountains Recreation and Conservation Authority (MRCA). Chief Gomez will oversee a corps of 23 park rangers, who are California Peace Officers, and whose duties include visitor safety, law enforcement, interpretation, rescue, emergency and disaster preparedness and training, fire prevention, wildland firefighting, and park protection for the more than 65,000 acres of public parkland owned and/or managed by the MRCA in the Southern California area. . . .
Chief Gomez began his public service career at the age of 15 as a crew member of the Los Angeles Conservation Corps’ Clean and Green Team — a job training program for at-risk youth. Recognizing Gomez’s considerable initiative and drive — as well as his “can-do” personality and leadership skills, in 1992, the MRCA-sponsored Urban Naturalists in Training program recruited him to serve as a trail guide for an environmental education program serving urban audiences. He later entered a second MRCA-sponsored training program, the Urban Park Professionals, as a coordinator. His duties included fully managing and developing programs at (then MRCA-operated) El Cariso Park in Sylmar. In 1994, Gomez became the MRCA’s first ranger trainee, completing his law enforcement training at the San Bernadino County Sheriff’s Academy. He became a sworn ranger in 1995. Gomez is additionally certified in swiftwater low-angle rescue, and search and rescue, and is certified as an Emergency First Responder, a Wildland Firefighter, and a National Association of Interpretation Guide. Chief Gomez is also an instructor for multiple law enforcement training classes. . . .
“It is an honor and a privilege to take on this new leadership position,” said Chief Ranger Gomez. “I am thankful for the support and encouragement the MRCA has given me.” . . .
Read the rest of this release at MRCA . . .
Learn about Transit to Trails, which can produce many more Fernandos to be tomorrow’s steward of the Earth and its people . . .