Grand County Emergency Services responded to a call on June 24 for two individuals who were struck by lightning in Dead Horse Point State Park. Bystanders called 911 before Park Manager Aaron Farmer and another seasonal employee arrived on the scene.
“This was the first lightning strike that I’ve seen, and I was an EMT for over ten years,” Farmer told the Moab Sun News. “It was pouring down rain, so they were cold and alert. I tried to do a rapid assessment of the two patients and make them as comfortable as possible until the ambulances arrived.”
GCEMS was paged at 5:31 p.m. on June 24, and the first ambulance reached the patients on the state park’s West Rim Trail at 6:04 p.m. The patients were in “critical but stable condition” when first responders arrived, according to GCEMS’s Facebook page.
“It was a freak storm,” said Farmer, who was spending his day off in the San Rafael Swell and near Green River before heading to the state park that evening. “I got back to Moab and saw the storm in the distance, which passed through in just a few minutes. It’s that time of year.”
The patients were first transported to Moab Regional Hospital for initial care before being transferred by plane to St. Mary’s Medical Center in Grand Junction, Colo.
“It’s a reminder to be responsible,” Farmer said. “Know your limits and the terrain — and know the weather.”