Thursday, Dec 16, 2010
Jay Lippert, chief ranger at Fire Island National Seashore, will be retiring on January 01, 2011, after more than 34 years of service with the National Park Service.
Jay's career with the NPS started as a seasonal park ranger at Gateway National Recreation Area in 1976, the same year he met Dawn, who later became his wife.
Jay also spent time as a seasonal ranger at Cape Cod National Seashore and Everglades National Park, where he received his first permanent job as a park technician in 1979. While at Everglades, Jay obtained his federal law enforcement commission and was involved with coworker Bob Panko in making one of the first major drug busts in the NPS, seizing several tons of marijuana and a 48-foot longline fishing vessel.
Jay also worked as a park technician at Big Cypress National Preserve, then was promoted to his first supervisory park ranger position at the Statue of Liberty/Ellis Island National Monument, and was there during the Statue's centennial celebration (1986). In August 1988, Jay was selected as Fire Island National Seashore's assistant west district ranger, and as the district ranger in 1996. In September 2006, Jay was selected as FIIS's chief ranger.
Throughout his career, Jay's boating experience, law enforcement training and later his skill as a Critical Incident Stress Debriefing (CISD) program team leader have been called into action in response to major emergencies, including the crash of TWA Flight 800 off the coast of Fire Island in July 1996. After the September 11, 2001 attacks on the World Trade Center, he led two patrol boats from Fire Island to New York Harbor to support operations at the Statue of Liberty/Ellis Island. He has also responded to several natural disasters during his career, including Hurricane Andrew in 1992, and hurricanes Ivan and Katrina in 2005/06. In recent years, Jay has become a facilitator for the NPS Operational Leadership program. For the last 6 years, he has served as the chair person for the Fire Island Law Enforcement and Safety Council, an informal multi-agency organization consisting of all the law enforcement and emergency services organizations with responsibility on Fire Island, where there are 17 preexisting communities within the boundaries of the park. Jay is also active in the community as the president of the local school board on Fire Island.
When asked for a comment, Jay said "I may be one of the few left in the law enforcement ranks who received a badge, a revolver, 50 rounds of ammo and a ticket book when I first started. Throughout my career, I have seen the ranger profession evolve into a better-trained and better-equipped workforce, which allows us to provide better service for the public in a safer manner. Along the way I have had the privilege of working with some of the most dedicated people I could have imagined."
The Lipperts have two children: Marcie, 29, now a sales executive in New York City, and Joshua, 25 who is a second mate on a cargo ship plying waters around the world. Jay and Dawn will be staying at their home on Fire Island. Jay looks forward to reconditioning a wooden sailboat that Dawn procured to keep him busy. But he won't be off the water for long. The Lipperts plan on traveling more now that they both have summers off, and will soon be enjoying the waters off Long Island and Connecticut by both power boat and by sail.
There will be a retirement celebration for Jay on January 21 at 7 p.m. at a local restaurant, Captain Bill's, located at 122 Ocean Avenue, Bay Shore, New York 11706. For more information or to RSVP, please contact John Mahoney at 631-697-4758 no later than January 14.
Jay's home email address is email@example.com