Jenny Lake Rangers, Teton Interagency Helitack Team recognized

JACKSON, Wyo. — Grand Teton National Park Jenny Lake Rangers and the Teton Interagency Helitack Team were recently awarded the 2020 National Park Service Tom Clausing All-Risk Program Award.

The national award recognizes work and interaction with others while rendering all-risk services, promotes innovation and professionalism, and advances aviation all-risk programs.

“Grand Teton National Park and Bridger-Teton National Forest staff have a long tradition of providing excellent all-hazard support to the public and employees,” said NPS Branch Chief for Aviation John Buehler. “Since the inception of the interagency program, the pilots and crewmembers have assisted dozens of people. Their dedication, knowledge, and skills will continue to help those in need.”

National Park Service rangers Scott Guenther and Case Martin, USDA Forest Service interagency helitack team members Mike Bentley and Travis Nichols, and pilot Zaron Welch were recognized for their risk-management leadership and actions during incidents the past year with the COVID-19 pandemic. NPS says that the individuals displayed excellent professionalism and risk-management decision making while rendering aid: ensuring both patients and crew were protected from the virus.

The Jenny Lake Park Rangers are known as highly skilled climbers and rescuers. In partnership with helicopter pilots, they manage remote rescue operations in the high and challenging peaks of the Teton Range. They are members of a broader ranger staff at Grand Teton that have medical and emergency training that respond to all types of incidents.

The Teton Interagency Helitack is a shared National Park Service and Forest Service resource that staffs two exclusive use helicopters contracted by the Forest Service. The helitack crew serves wildland fire and search and rescue needs of the local community while also completing facility and resource management missions for the park and forest.

This national award, named in honor of former Grand Canyon Paramedic Tom Clausing, recognizes an individual or organization who shows exemplary qualities in the area of all-risk services. Tom Clausing worked at Grand Canyon for six seasons, striving to advance Grand Canyon’s Emergency Medical Services and the relationship of rangers, firefighters, and pilots. In 2008 Tom lost his life in a helicopter crash in Flagstaff, Arizona while providing care to an injured firefighter. The award that bears his name honors anyone who, like Tom, works tirelessly to improve provider skills and further aviation hazards programs.

About The Author

Buckrail @ Jacob

Jacob Gore was born and raised in Cheyenne, the capital city of Wyoming. As a proud Wyomingite, he loves to share his home with visitors from around the world. Spending years in Jackson and Alaska as an interpretive nature guide, he remains a photographer, traveler, storyteller, and avid hobbyist of all-things outdoors. Jacob enjoys bridging the connection between Jackson and the rest of the state.

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