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GTNP Rangers & Local Rescuers Honored

Valor

Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar presented seven Grand Teton National Park rangers with the prestigious Department of the Interior (DOI) Valor Award for their heroic actions during the July 2010 search and rescue for 17 climbers caught in a severe lightning storm on the Grand Teton.  Additionally, the helicopter pilot on that mission, a park medical director an interagency helitack member and three Exum Guides were presented the Department’s Citizen’s Award for Bravery for their actions during the rescue.  Valor Award recipients were Park Rangers Ryan Schuster, Jack McConnell, Marty Vidak, Ed Visnovske, Nicholas Armitage, Drew Hardesty, and Helen Bowers. Pilot Matt Heart of Helicopter Express, Doctor AJ Wheeler, Teton Interagency Helitack member John Filardo, and Exum Mountain Guides Dan Corn, Anneka Door, and Brenton Reagan each received the Citizen’s Award for Bravery for their critical roles and assistance during the challenging rescue operation.  Many lives were saved by the professionalism, skill and courage of the combined rescuers; sadly, one climber died when he fell more than 2,000 feet during the brunt of the storm.  The subsequent rescue marked the park’s largest ever rescue operation and one of the most complex.

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