Black Rock Rangers Forums Alphas F.L.A.M.E.


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  • #1316

    SF Bay Area

    Ranger skills are the techniques employed when engaging in conflict mediation and resolution. F.L.A.M.E. is a useful acronym to help you remember the most basic, and essential way Rangers approach and mediate an encountered problem.

    F stands for Find out.

    First, stand back, and observe. Be aware of safety issues, both your own and the participants. If there is a safety issue where you feel that you, your partner, or participants are in danger, call Khaki immediately. When you have determined that it is safe to approach and that you are needed, find out the facts of what is “really going on” in a given situation. What is the primary complaint? Who is involved? When did the conflict start/ incident occur? Where did it happen? There will always be at least three sides: the sides of the individuals involved directly in conflict (which may be two or more) and of course an impartial third perspective, when you can find it. Add this to the perspective you bring to the situation, which encompasses your experience, the general opinion of all the participants, and the ideology of the Burning Man Project.

    L stands for Listen.

    Listen to all parties; ensure that all stakeholders have had a chance to be heard and give their input. Be aware that at times you may have to use your judgment as to who is really involved. Concentrate on the parties who need your direct assistance and make time for everyone who has legitimate input. Listening is a powerful tool, not only for getting information but also for establishing a general rapport and social capital with your fellow citizens of Black Rock City.

    A stands for Analyze.

    Once you have gathered all the information that you can, analyze it with your partner. Take all of the facts that you gathered during the F and L parts of the process and consider your understanding of the expectations of the citizens of Black Rock City, the policies of the Ranger department, and the ideology and policies of the Burning Man Project.

    Active deliberation and use of your best judgment is required at this stage in the process and is fully backed by the Ranger organization. You have come forward, volunteered, been trained, and are an integral part of our team. We have faith in ourselves and in you. This is at the core of Rangering.

    M stands for Mediate.

    Your primary role in mediation is to make suggestions as a neutral third party. Mediation allows the participants involved to arrive at the best way to resolve their situation. Determine which participants involved may have room to budge and those whose interests are such that they cannot or will not give in. This is often not based on right and wrong. Work with all parties involved until an outcome is reached that seems to function well. Whenever possible, facilitate the parties reaching their own joint solution. People are much more likely to stick to a solution when they feel ownership of the process and that the resolution came from them rather than from an “authority figurine” telling them what to do.

    E stands for Explain.

    E is the explanation, and completes your “FLAME-ing” of the situation. Explaining the outcome of the mediation process to everyone involved ensures that all parties have come to a consensus that they can agree with (or at least live with for a week in the desert). This is not always the end. Within the Burning Man event, while things change constantly, the explanations you give will be repeated and re-requested not only by the parties involved, but by other participants.You will often be asked by neighbors to explain the outcome, later that day, that evening, the next morning, even months after the event has ended. Do this while respecting the privacy of the individuals involved in any given situation. An ability to accurately recall and explain a situation after the fact is why it is important to take notes in your Ranger notebook throughout any mediation process and to notify Khaki of the what/where/when/how of conflicts and their outcomes at some point during or immediately after your shift.



    The most appropriate action upon arriving on-scene is, surprisingly, to do nothing.

    Everything else — FLAME — will follow.

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