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Grand County EMS crews to receive ‘Call of the Year’ award

Grand County EMS (GCEMS) performed emergency life-saving measures on a critically injured base jumper at the lower Gemini Bridges area in 2017. [Photo: Grand County EMS]

SALT LAKE CITY — The Utah EMS Call of the Year award is being given Wednesday to three Grand County first responder crews for their rescue of a Moab BASE jumper last year.

Grand County EMS, Grand County Search & Rescue, and Classic Air Medical are being honored for rescuing the BASE jumper in September, 2017, after his parachute partially collapsed, sending him 400 ft. to the ground.

Crews responded to the jumper who was stuck on a 600 ft. cliff with a badly damaged leg. They were able to hike halfway through tough terrain, including loose rocks and boulders, and then had to put on harnesses to rock climb the rest.

Utah EMS License Coordinator Tami Goodin says, “So that was just a wonderful rescue right there. Just to get to the patient.”

Goodin says the crews spent the night with the jumper as darkness fell in Moab, and he was flown to St Mary’s Medical Center in Grand Junction, CO, for treatment. The man spent seven days in the trauma center, and his right leg was surgically amputated. He was later moved to a rehabilitation unit.

Goodin says the EMS Awards, presented by the Bureau of Emergency Medical Services and Preparedness, is just one way to show appreciation to first responders across the state who are rarely thanked for their efforts.

“That’s just something little, a ‘feel-good’ thing we try to do,” says Goodin. “Every one of our first responders in the state are just absolutely wonderful.”