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[20-015] JUNE 27TH MOUNTAIN SIDE RESCUE
Los Santos County Sheriff's deputies assigned to the Paleto Bay Station serve the unincorporated areas of Grapeseed and Mount Josiah. This rough and complex terrain often leaves vehicles stuck and hiker's injured. Deputies are expected to remain safe and follow all necessary precautions when responding to these areas. On the 27th of June, 2020, deputy sheriffs assigned to the Paleto Bay Station were tasked with a call for service referencing a suicidal subject somewhere in the eastern end of Mount Josiah.
Deputy Sheriff Jacob Arnett responded to the call and entered the greater chiliad wilderness on foot, hiking up the side of Mount Josiah with nothing more than a water bottle and his radio in search of the caller. Several other deputies were on the scene and began a search pattern across the mountain range at several different access points. Deputy Arnett was unable to locate the caller, but found himself in a deep section of the mountainside, losing his footing and sustaining a severe injury. Deputy Arnett is a veteran of law enforcement and acted swiftly at that moment. While sliding down the mountainside, Deputy Arnett focused on his training and was able to activate his emergency button on his issued radio; this alerted other Deputies and communication staff that he was in serious danger. Immediately after, Deputy Arnett lost consciousness on the side of the mountain.
Deputy Sheriff Thom Aplin responded to the original call for service that Deputy Arnett was and found himself in the area when Deputy Arnett's panic alarm was announced over the radio. Deputy Aplin took control of the situation, coordinating search efforts with aerial units of the Los Santos Police Department and Los Santos Fire Department. Deputy Aplin entered the search himself and was able to locate Deputy Arnett's exact position. Deputy Aplin inserted himself into the lopsided mountainside where Deputy Arnett was trapped and provided medical care to Deputy Arnett's injuries. Deputy Aplin continued to coordinate with other deputies and the Los Santos Fire Department, guiding in their airship for a successful medical evacuation.
Deputy Aplin simultaneously coordinated the incident while providing medical care to the injured Deputy. Deputy Aplin's professional judgment and determination resulted in a safe rescue of the injured deputy.
The Los Santos County Sheriff's Department issues awards in certain situations where valor, distinguished service, or life-saving efforts are shown. In this instance, Deputy Aplin was awarded the Medal of Valor, which is coveted as it is the highest honor the Department may stow upon any deputy. The definition of valor is to act with courage in the face of great danger. Today, we celebrate the individual who made incredible sacrifices to ensure the safety of other human beings. There is no greater mission than to save a life or render aid to another during challenging circumstances. To have what it takes to set aside one’s own personal safety to rescue someone once that call for help was made is truly remarkable.
The Los Santos County Sheriff's Department also issues awards when serious injury is sustained while serving the County. Deputy Arnett was awarded the Purple Heart Award for the serious physical injuries sustained during the mountainside incident.
LOS SANTOS COUNTY SHERIFF'S DEPARTMENT
Sheriff's Information Bureau