Park Service Awards Four Employees for Saving 79-Year-Old-Man - Southern Maryland Headline News

Park Service Awards Four Employees for Saving 79-Year-Old-Man

ANNAPOLIS (October 21, 2009) — Four staff members from Point Lookout State Park received Maryland Park Service Valor Awards for their quick responses in taking action when a visitor suffered a life-threatening laceration at the park campground in August.

The following individuals were presented with their awards by Maryland Park Service Superintendent Nita Settina October 1, at the Maryland Park Service Employee Field Day, held at Gunpowder Falls State Park in Baltimore County:

-- Maryland Park Ranger David Best (recently transferred to Deep Creek Lake State Park in Garrett County);

-- Seasonal Park Ranger Joe Raley of Ridge;

-- Seasonal Maintenance Technician George Gatton of Ridge;

-- and Volunteer Campground Host Ed Dugans of Lusby.

“Once again, we see why it is so important that our Maryland Park Rangers are trained as first responders,” said MPS Superintendent Nita Settina. “I’m very proud of the Rangers’ quick thinking and action, which helped to save a life.”

Park staff received an emergency call for an unknown injury at the park while handling an incident involving a tractor-trailer stuck in a ditch. The only word heard by responders was “man” before the call was lost

Maryland Park Ranger David Best initiated a team response and rapidly located the victim at a campsite in the Hoffman area in the park.

Initial responders, Campground Host Ed Dugans and seasonal Park Ranger Joe Raley, found an unresponsive 79-year-old man sitting upright and bleeding profusely. The man, it appeared, had dropped a razor-sharp fillet knife, lacerating his lower right leg.

While Dugans and Ranger Raley worked to cut off the blood flow, seasonal employee George Gatton arrived with Ranger Best and began more extensive first aid. Park Rangers Bill Moffat and Cliff Puffenberger provided escort for responding Natural Resources Police Officers and the Ridge Volunteer Rescue Squad. The victim regained full consciousness and was transported to a near-by hospital.

The Maryland Park Service Valor Award is presented to those individuals who perform an extraordinary action which is attributable to saving a life, attempting to save a life, preventing or attempting to prevent property or resource loss, or involving public safety.

Source: Md. Dept. of Natural Resources (DNR)

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