The National Ski Patrol (NSP) presented Kim Sawtelle, a ski patroller with the Utah Olympic Park, with the Purple Merit Star this past weekend at Utah Olympic Park. Kim received this honor for her actions following plane crash in Green River, UT this summer.
The National Ski Patrol Purple Merit Star is one of the highest awards bestowed by the National Ski Patrol. The NSP decided that Kim's actions directly resulted in the occupants of the plane surviving the ordeal.
Kim was on a rafting trip near Green River, UT when a small aircraft crash landed in a field near the river. Kim and her fellow rafters found the occupants lying in the fiery field away from the wreckage. They transported the two occupants onto their river raft to escape the flames. Once on the raft, Kim assessed the occupants. One had a life threatening chest injury that Kim treated. Kim and her friends kept the two plane occupants stable for 24 hours until they ran into another rafting group that had a satellite phone. They called 911 on the phone and Air Med was dispatched to their location. Both of the plane occupants survived and made a full recovery.
Kim is a National Ski Patroller with Utah Olympic Park. She has worked as a National Ski Patroller for Utah Olympic Park for 2 years.