The National Park Service announced yesterday that Valor Awards were given to 17 employees who have demonstrated unusual courage in the face of danger. In a ceremony on Thursday, Secretary of the Interior Sally Jewell presented the Valor Awards to the employees, as well as the Citizen’s Award for Bravery to three private citizens who risked their lives to save others while on Department of the Interior lands. This included two men associated with the Great Smoky Mountains National Park.
Bradley Griest, a park ranger at Great Smoky Mountains National Park, and Christopher Scarbrough, a volunteer with the Town of Townsend Fire Department, rescued a barely conscious motorist trapped in a partially submerged vehicle in the Little River. They winched open the door against the strong current, freed the driver, secured him to a litter, and lifted him up a steep embankment to an ambulance.
“These heroes rappelled from helicopters, scaled cliffs, swam through rapids, and protected park visitors from hazards,” said National Park Service Director Jonathan B. Jarvis. “They put their own lives in peril to help others. Yet, each one of them would humbly say they were simply doing their jobs. Their passion to serve others is inspiring.”
You can read the full list of all recipients by clicking here.