Conservation officer's lifesaving efforts at Newaygo motel earn fourth DNR honor

Contact: Lt. Joe Molnar, 231-922-5280
Agency: Natural Resources

Oct. 18, 2019

Hagler-Ginn-Malloch-300pxMichigan Conservation Officer Jeff Ginn’s actions last year to resuscitate a man in a Newaygo motel were recognized with a Department of Natural Resources Lifesaving Award – his fourth such honor. Ginn was presented with the award at the October Michigan Natural Resources Commission meeting in Lansing.

Nov. 13, Ginn responded to a medical emergency involving a 75-year-old man who was reported unresponsive at Cronk’s Oakridge Motel, located at 9135 Mason Drive in Newaygo. Within four minutes of receiving the call, Ginn arrived at the scene and evaluated the man, who did not have a pulse and was not breathing. Ginn moved the victim to the ground so he could use his department-issued automatic external defibrillator – a portable medical device that analyzes the heart’s rhythm and, if necessary, automatically delivers an electrical shock, or defibrillation, to help the heart restore an effective rhythm.

The AED delivered one shock to the victim and then advised Ginn to deliver chest compressions. Ginn performed chest compressions until paramedics with Life EMS of Newaygo County arrived. While paramedics provided care to the victim, Ginn continued chest compressions. The AED reanalyzed the victim and administered another shock. First responders continued to care for the patient while they prepared to transport him by ambulance to a hospital in Grand Rapids. While en route to the hospital, he regained his pulse.

One day after the incident, the man was conscious with full neurological function.

“Jeff’s help gave this patient a fighting chance of survival,” said Jason Best, field supervisor at Life EMS of Newaygo County. “It is very nice to have this compassion and helpfulness in a rural county where help is limited.”

Conservation officers live in the communities that they serve and often are the first emergency responder to arrive at a scene.

“I’m honored to recognize Conservation Officer Jeff Ginn for providing lifesaving care to this man,” said Chief Gary Hagler, DNR Law Enforcement Division. “His fast response and training that helped save this man’s life are excellent examples of what a conservation officer is capable of. You never know when an emergency is going to arise, and we are prepared to serve our communities.”

Ginn has been a conservation officer with the DNR since 2006 and patrols Newaygo County. His earlier lifesaving actions include:

  • In 2012, Newaygo County issued a State of Emergency due to flooding. Ginn used a vessel to rescue a man on the Muskegon River who was clinging to his capsized boat. As Ginn traveled back up the river, he came across a second man, who was clinging to a downed tree in the river. Ginn was able to get both men safely to shore, where they were taken to the hospital by ambulance.
  • During 2013, Ginn found a suicidal woman, unconscious in a car. He removed the woman from the vehicle and provided first aid until she regained consciousness and was later transported to the hospital by ambulance.
  • In 2014, Ginn was part of a search and rescue team to locate a missing 2-year-old girl who had walked away from her home. On day two of the search, Ginn located the girl by using a department-issued ORV. Ginn transported the girl to the road, where she was taken to the hospital by ambulance.

Apply now for the next Conservation Officer Academy

Those interested in pursuing a career as a Michigan conservation officer are encouraged to submit an application for the DNR’s 10th conservation officer academy, which will begin July 12, 2020, in Lansing.

Michigan conservation officers are fully commissioned state peace officers who provide natural resources protection, ensure recreational safety and protect the public by performing general law enforcement duties and lifesaving operations in the communities they serve. These officers undergo extensive search and rescue training to locate missing persons and have specialized equipment to navigate rural and difficult terrain.

Learn more about conservation officers and the hiring process and qualifications at