A Michigan Conservation Officer has proved he’s a hero, over and over again.
CO Jeff Ginn patrols busy fishing waters of the Muskegon River in western Michigan, keeping hunters and fishermen safe while enforcing the laws of the Michigan Department of Natural Resources. He covers hundreds of square miles in rural Newaygo County.
But Officer Ginn, who at times can be the only peace officer for miles, has a knack of being in the right place at the right time.
"Finding the girl was pure luck, and that's ok. I'd rather be lucky than good,” Ginn said.
He’s humble, but during the last 12 years, he’s saved five lives on duty, while receiving four Life Saving Awards from the Department of Natural Resources.
Most recently he helped save the life of a 75-year-old man suffering a heart attack. Within minutes of the 911 call from a small motel, Ginn was on the scene.
"I started CPR. Shocked him. I did CPR for another cycle. The AD shocked. Then EMS arrived. Firefighters arrived, and they hooked him up to their more advanced equipment and went from there. He was breathing on his own when I left. I was just like holy cow this stuff works," Ginn recalls.
In 2014, the father of two was part of a 2-day search for a 2-year-old girl missing in the woods. On the second day, Ginn said he spotted something moving, a moment he will never forget.
"It was like time stood still. I saw her. And I almost had to tell myself that's who you're looking for. Because I did not expect to see her standing upright. I took my helmet off and threw it on the ground and walked right over to her and she reached her arms up for me and I gave her a big hug," Ginn said.
And before that, Ginn saved two boaters from the fast-rising Muskegon River.
"The river was so high that we couldn't run our boats under this railroad trestle."
A man and his son were caught in fast moving currents when their boat capsized. "We got him out of the water and gave him an emergency blanket and we continued up river for the child.”
And then, they found the kid. "Yeah, then we get the kid. They had a little reunion on the boat. There were some tears. They were pretty emotional."
"I feel exceptionally proud. Being able to talk with Jeff. You know the steps that he takes to be prepared. Its exceptionally proud for me as a supervisor knowing I have officers that are as passionate as he is," said Ginn’s supervisor, Lt Joe Molnar.
"I really think this county, I mean my assignment is fantastic. I love where I work. We have so much to do," Ginn said.