Utah State Parks Blog

Three Rangers Recognized for Their Hard Work

April 27, 2023

Ranger Angela Lankford

SALT LAKE CITY — Utah is home to some of the most breathtaking natural landscapes in the country, and the rangers who work here play a critical role in preserving these precious resources and keeping those who visit them safe. 

This year, the Utah Fraternal Order of Police Lodge #41 — comprised of law enforcement rangers from both the Utah Division of State Parks and the Utah Division of Outdoor Recreation —  recognized three rangers for their exceptional work and dedication. These three awards included the Ranger Of The Year Award, the Life-Saving Award and the Statistical Award.

Ranger of the Year Award

First, we have Ranger Angela Lankford, who was awarded Ranger of the Year. Ranger Lankford has responded to a wide range of calls and accidents this year, including a fatal snowmobile accident and a paddleboard incident where she assisted with a search and recovery. 

In another incident, on her day off nonetheless, Ranger Lankford noticed emergency lights across the water. Upon learning that they were emergency crews looking for a missing kayaker, she immediately joined in the search. She ended up locating the missing kayaker and transported them to the boat ramp where they were treated for hypothermia. For this, she received an award from Utah Governor Spencer Cox’s office. 

Ranger Jason Allen

In yet another incident this year, Ranger Lankford responded to a motorcycle crash. She assisted and even administered CPR for 15-20 minutes until medical crews arrived to help further. 

Ranger Lankford’s professionalism, dedication, and exemplary service to the State of Utah’s residents and tourists have earned her well-deserved recognition. We are lucky to have such a dedicated and talented ranger like Angela Lankford working to protect and preserve our natural resources. She is currently stationed out of Rockport State Park and also assists as needed in the surrounding areas. 

Life-Saving Award 

Next, we have Ranger Jason Allen, who received the Life-Saving Award. Ranger Allen’s quick thinking and heroism saved the life of a young woman who was involved in a serious motorcycle crash on HWY 189 in Wasatch County. 

He applied a tourniquet to the victim’s severed leg and helped keep her stable until emergency medical services arrived. Thanks to Ranger Allen’s swift action, the young woman survived. We are grateful for Ranger Allen’s bravery and dedication to public safety.

Ranger Allen is currently serving as the Assitant Park Manager of Deer Creek State Park. 

Ranger Preston Wood

Statistical Award 

Finally, we have Ranger Preston Wood from Jordanelle State Park, who was recognized with the Statistical Award. Despite being a relatively new law enforcement ranger, Ranger Wood has already made a significant impact. Last year, he conducted 100 vessel safety inspections, issued 184 citations, and processed 18 DUIs and 14 other drug and alcohol citations. Ranger Wood’s commitment to keeping visitors safe on the water and roads is truly commendable, and we thank him for his hard work.

The Utah Division of State Parks, Utah Division of Outdoor Recreation, and FOP Lodge #41, extend their congratulations to rangers Preston Wood, Jason Allen, and Angela Lankford for their exceptional work and commitment to public safety and environmental conservation. These rangers are an inspiration to us all and remind us of the essential role that park rangers play in managing and protecting these outdoor resources and those who visit them. 

(Left) Utah Division of State Parks, (center) Utah Fraternal Order of Police, (right) Utah Division of Outdoor Recreation

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