Press release: Lake Dillon Fire, Summit County Sheriff honor local heroes

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Contact: Steve Lipsher, Public Information Officer

Office: (970) 262-5209


30 September 2015


Lake Dillon Fire, Summit County Sheriff honor local heroes


A family that saved the life of an injured cliff jumper and two people who risked their lives to rescue crew members of the Flight for Life helicopter crash are among those who will be honored by Lake Dillon Fire and the Summit County Sheriff’s Office at an awards ceremony in Dillon on Friday.


Honorees will include:


  • The Ellis family – Olivia, Kaden, Craig and Susie – who saved the life of a man who broke both his back and neck while jumping off a cliff at Green Mountain Reservoir. Recognizing that he had landed strangely, Colorado Mesa State University students and siblings Kaden and Olivia Ellis used their skills as competitive swimmers to reach the man, Ryan Whitten, and keep his head above water until nearby firefighters arrived to stabilize him and began medical care. Whitten is recovering and is expected to attend the ceremony.
  • Christian “Campy” Campton and the crews at KODI Rafting, who have been instrumental in assisting emergency workers in several swift-water rescues on the Lower Blue River.
  • St. Anthony’s Summit Medical Center CT tech Jimmy Rhodes, who raced to the Flight for Life helicopter crash on July 3 with nothing by a handheld fire extinguisher and pulled out pilot Patrick Mahany from the burning wreckage.
  • Jordan Dobrin, who was riding his bicycle past the medical center when the helicopter crash occurred and helped extinguish the flames engulfing Flight for Life flight nurse Dave Repsher.


“These people are true heroes who put aside their own safety to help others during life-or-death crises,” said Lake Dillon Fire Chief Jeff Berino. “We are pleased to honor their selfless efforts.”


The award recipients serve as models for everyone in the community, said Summit County Sheriff John Minor.


“In the moment of need, none of these people hesitated to get involved, and their actions exhibited bravery, valor and remarkable compassion for their fellow human beings,” Minor said.


The awards ceremony will be held at 11 a.m. on Friday at Lake Dillon Fire Station No. 8, 225 Lake Dillon Drive in Dillon. It is free and open to the public.



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