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Jeff Arbon, Grand, Emery & San Juan Counties

The following nomination was written by Eugene Swalberg, Public Affairs Coordinator for the Utah Division of Parks & Rec:

“Jeff Arbon is a Utah State Park Ranger for the Utah Division of Parks and Recreation (Category 1, POST certified statewide peace officer). Jeff is the boating / off-highway vehicle (OHV) ranger for Emery, Grand and San Juan Counties. Jeff’s responsibilities include public safety boating patrols on the Green, San Juan and Colorado rivers as well as back country OHV patrols. Jeff has extensive river running experience to go along with his love of motorcycle riding in faraway places.

In July 2016 in the heat of the summer Jeff was finishing a shift and heard on the dispatch radio of a distressed mountain biker on the Poison Spider Mesa trail. There was a call for a helicopter rescue but dispatch needed on the ground verification by either SAR personnel or law enforcement. Jeff knowing the terrain very well returned to work, loaded his motorcycle and headed to the trail head.

Jeff found the distressed mountain biker about 6 to 7 miles into the backcountry in the late stages of heat stroke. Jeff confirmed with dispatch the need for a helicopter rescue and as a trained First Responder Jeff doused the biker with water and monitored him closely. With the helicopter in sight the mountain biker stopped breathing and lost a pulse.

Jeff immediately began performing CPR and was quickly helped by the medical personnel from the helicopter crew. After about 20 minutes of performing ALS on the distressed mountain biker he regained a pulse and began breathing on his own. He was air lifted to Moab Regional Medical Center where because a park ranger was listening to the radio, was familiar with the backcountry and responded quickly the downed mountain biker has another candle to add to his birthday cake this year.”