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Lake Erie Region Officers Recognized for Life Saving Actions in 2022

ODNR is looking for the next group of heroes.

COLUMBUS, Ohio - Recognized for their quick thinking and fast action, 12 Natural Resources Officers (NRO) were recently honored by the Ohio Department of Natural Resources (ODNR) for their life-saving efforts over the past year. ODNR’s officers are often the first to arrive on the scene of an emergency at Ohio’s state parks, forests, nature preserves, and waterways. 

“Our Natural Resources Officers are dedicated to keeping all Ohioans safe,” said ODNR Director Mary Mertz. “I am grateful to these courageous men and women for their life-saving actions and their ongoing efforts to not only protect visitors, but to improve their experience each and every day.”

ODNR officers also routinely serve communities as first responders, especially in Ohio’s rural counties.  Two Lake Erie region officers were recognized for their lifesaving efforts in 2022.

  • Natural Resources Officer Nathan Rouse was enroute to Findley State Park when he saw a vehicle in a ditch after hitting a tree along the road. Upon approach, Officer Rouse realized the driver was experiencing a drug overdose and he immediately administered naloxone. The revived driver, who had a broken neck, survived the crash.
  • Natural Resources officers Adam Trisket and Trent Watters were working at Geneva State Park when they heard honking in the park office parking lot. Upon investigation, they found a bowhunter who had accidentally shot himself in the foot. Officer Trisket applied a tourniquet after seeing that the man had likely severed an artery. His action stopped the blood flow until emergency personnel arrived on the scene.     
  • Natural Resources officers Jeff Keller and Steve Massello were patrolling Lake Erie when they received a distress call about a disabled boat heading dangerously close to an Erie County break wall. With about 5 feet to spare, the officers were able to turn the boat away from the break wall. Their quick actions stopped the boat, which was carrying five passengers including a young child, from crashing.

Natural Resources officers are commissioned peace officers who protect Ohio’s natural resources. These highly trained law enforcement personnel patrol Ohio’s state parks, forests, nature preserves, and waterways to keep them safe for the enjoyment of all visitors.

ODNR is currently recruiting for the next class of Natural Resources officers. Applications will be accepted through Dec. 20, at this link.

The ODNR Division of Parks and Watercraft provides exceptional outdoor recreation and boating opportunities by balancing outstanding customer service, education, and conservation of Ohio’s 75 state parks and waterways.

The ODNR ensures a balance between wise use and protection of our natural resources for the benefit of all. Visit the ODNR website at ohiodnr.gov.