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Park Ranger gets Medal of Valor from Governor

California State Park Ranger Jeffrey Scott Sipes of Santa Cruz was recently awarded the Governor’s State Employee Medal of Valor for his exemplary service and acts of heroism.


On Sunday June 28, 2009, Jeffrey Scott Sipes was instrumental in saving the life of a 17-year-old teenage boy when he was being electrocuted near Rio Del Mar Beach in Santa Cruz County. (Photo Courtesy of California State Parks Photographer, Brian Baer)

An Aptos high school student was with a group of friends just before 10 p.m., when a branch about 70 feet up a eucalyptus tree fell onto a high-voltage power line, knocking conductors and other equipment on to the grassy knoll near Rio Del Mar Beach. The young people were spending recreation time at the beach when they heard a loud noise, saw sparks and thought it was fireworks; but one of the teenagers spotted fire and went up the hillside to attempt to put out the flames.

Witnesses saw a flash of light, and then the neighborhood lights went out. The 17-year-old victim was on the ground, screaming in pain, but his friends could not get him away from the wire, which was still charged with 12,000 volts of power.

Someone called 911. When Ranger Sipes, who is a part-time firefighter, arrived on the scene, and helped Aptos firefighter Captain Greg Hansen pull the boy out of the electrically charged area.  Each rescuer grabbed one of the boy’s arms and pulled him to safety.  Ranger Sipes placed himself in grave physical danger when he helped rescue this victim, knowing that policy calls for rescuers to "isolate and deny entry" until the wires can be turned off.

The victim was subsequently listed in critical condition, suffering major burns to his head, upper back, one arm, legs, hands and feet. Jacob would not have survived if they waited for PG&E to shut down the wires. PG&E later reported that 134 customers lost power during this incident - testifying to the enormity of the situation.

For more information see the Department of Personnel Administration’s special website dedicated to the awards at http://www.medalofvalor.ca.gov/

More Hunting News

Nash Buckingham

Don Webster, author badge, myoutdoorbuddy.com
Theophilus Nash Buckingham (1880-1971) was an American author and conservationist from Tennessee. He is known for being an avid shotgunner and wingshot, and a best-loved outdoor writer of his time... Full Story

Get Organized for Turkey Hunting

John Higley hunting vest equipped, photo by John Higley
Article and photos by John Higley
02/04/16 -- I would get a serious case of cabin fever if I stayed inside every time in rained, but that is not in my nature. No matter what, I’ve got to get outside at least for awhile on stormy days. That may mean splitting wood for... Full Story

Rules differ for junior hunters

02/01/16 -- California junior hunters have enjoyed a new benefit that took effect at the beginning of the 2015-16 hunting season. AB 1709, signed by Governor Edmund G. Brown in 2014, amended Fish and Game Code... Full Story

Apply for Hunter Representative position

01/26/16 -- Help provide hunting access and improve wildlife habitat on private land by serving on the Access and Habitat Board. ODFW is recruiting for a Hunter Representative position on the statewide Board and applications... Full Story

​CDFW surveying wildlife with helicopters

Helicopter for surveying, courtesy of CDFW
01/27/16 -- The California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW) has begun conducting a series of deer surveys in northern California this week using a helicopter. The survey work began Monday, Jan. 25 in Modoc County. Unless delayed... Full Story

Horn Hunting: Shed the Winter Blues

Antlers on ground, photo by Jason Haley
Article and photos by Jason Haley
01/06/16 -- A buck or bull growing two large antlers, unique to him, each spring, only to lose them in winter is one of nature's amazing constants. Stumbling across one of these beauties in the trail makes you think..... Full Story

CDFW releases draft gray wolf plan

12/03/15 -- The California department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW) has released the draft Conservation Plan for Gray Wolves in California and is soliciting input about the draft. The plan is the product of collaboration between... Full Story

Waterfowl regs set for 2015-2016 season

Ducks and geese at Gray Lodge. CDFW photo by Lori Deiter.
08/10/15 -- The California Fish and Game Commission adopted the 2015-16 waterfowl hunting regulations on Aug. 5. The season length for brant in the Northern Brant and Balance of State Brant special management... Full Story

How much venison do hunters harvest?

Venison Bourguignon (Venison Stew), photo by Daniel Bledsoe, Food.com
06/17/15 -- The Dallas Safari Club (DSC) intends to find out. A study launching in 2015 will measure the actual amounts of venison and other wild protein harvested annually in North America. Researchers will assess the nutritional... Full Story

Pups & Partridges on the Calapooia Prairie

Liesl, 11 month old pudelpointer, photo by Gary Lewis
By Gary Lewis
02/18/15 -- They say a great pointing dog only comes along once or twice in a hunter's lifetime. Some dogs don't have the heart or the desire. Others don't seem to have the nose or the brain. We brought home our pudelpointer in... Full Story

RMEF to CBD: Stick to the facts

02/05/15 -- The Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation is calling on the environmentalist group Center for Biological Diversity (CBD) to stick to the facts when making presumptions about wildlife populations. CBD recently claimed that Idaho’s wolf... Full Story

DSC convention goers raise $1M in 1 minute

01/19/15 -- Responding to a heartfelt appeal for youth outdoor education, DSC convention goers on Saturday night raised $1 million in about 60 seconds. The fast flurry of fundraising was a highlight of the 2015 DSC convention and expo... Full Story

It’s Not over Till the Lady Sings

mountain lion on rocky edge, photo courtesy of UDWR and Carrie Wilson, CA DFW
By Gary Lewis
01/19/15 -- If you want to avoid being attacked by a mountain lion, conventional wisdom says, you should travel in groups. If you encounter a mountain lion by yourself or with children, stop and make yourself look as big as possible... Full Story

Vintage Waterfowler

old black and white photo of a skiff loaded with ducks and a man with his shotgun, courtesy of Don Webster
By Don E. Webster
09/16/14 --Having been pursuing waterfowl for over 60 years, I was exposed to its history as a mere child by my grandfather, Wilbur S. Pechin. He hunted ducks and geese along the Platte River in Nebraska in the late 19th... Full Story

The buck we didn’t get and two we did

Tyler Low with his 3x4 buck shot at 100 yards with a Weatherby Vanguard .300 Winchester Magnum. Photo by Kyler Olson
By Tyler Low
08/10/14 -- “Can you see him? He is just below the sky line to the left of the big live oak.” The respectable three-point stood only 500 yards away, but my hunting partner, Kyler Olson, couldn’t quite get an eye on him... Full Story

Where Are All the Pheasants?

Sacramento Valley Pheasant, Steven T. Callan, Where Have All the Pheasants Gone
On Patrol by Steven T. Callan
The other day a neighbor stopped by my house after two days of hunting pheasants in the Orland area. He said that he and his golden retriever, Milo, had probably walked ten miles and only flushed three birds. Knowingthat I had grown up... Full Story

Ham on the Hoof

Article and photos by Gary Lewis
12/17/13 -- We were climbing a steep gravel ranch road in Charlie’s Toyota when we saw it, as big as a full-grown bear and on a dead run. Charlie hit the brakes and switched off the engine. There was no time to load the rifle. The shaggy, gray... Full Story

Never say never

Never say never, rifle buk, Francisco Garcia, MyOutdoorBuddy.com
By Francisco Garcia
Most of you have heard the saying, patience is a virtue, and I would say persistence is a virtue. If you want to fill your deer tag each season you have to put your time in. If you don’t give in and hunt hard you should be... Full Story

Hunting trip gone bad

Deer holding tight in cover during times of heavy hunting pressure as I was about to find out. Francisco Garcia hunting story. MyOutdoorBuddy.com
By Francisco Garcia
If you asked me what I’d rather be doing, most of the time I would emphatically say, deer hunting. For me nothing gets the juices flowing and the imagination spinning like the arrival of bow or rifle season for deer. When... Full Story

 

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