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Silverthorne police officer awarded for saving suicidal man’s life

Council members clap as Silverthorne Mayor Ann-Marie Sandquist presents the Medal for Meritorious Service to police officer Ryan Hosier Dec. 11 at the Silverthorne Town Council meeting
Taylor Sienkiewicz / tsienkiewicz@summitdaily.com

SILVERTHORNE — On the night of Oct. 5, Silverthorne Police Department officer Ryan Hosier put himself in harm’s way to save a man’s life. He was awarded the Medal for Meritorious Service by Silverthorne Mayor Ann-Marie Sandquist on Wednesday, Dec. 11, at the Silverthorne Town Council meeting. 

At 8:11 p.m. Oct. 5, Hosier and Sgt. Rachel Dunaway responded to a call about a suicidal man trying to jump from a balcony, according to an account of the incident read by Sandquist. After the two arrived on scene, Hosier stood in the driveway and talked to the man, who was on the roof of the garage. While Hosier was talking, Dunaway went to the room that accessed the roof and attempted to talk to the man, as well. 

At about 8:35 p.m., the man tried to jump off the roof, slipped and then jumped head first onto the driveway. Hosier positioned himself under the man to break his fall, and they both hit the ground. The man was transported by ambulance to St. Anthony Summit Medical Center. Hosier also was injured in the incident and went to the emergency room for treatment.

“For those kind of unselfish actions, we believe he played a significant role in saving that man’s life,” Silverthorne Police Chief John Minor said. 

Hosier said there were several factors that contributed to his decision that night.

“Through my experience in the Marines and just in my personal life, there’s a lot of people that I know who have been in a crisis like that,” Hosier said. “His mom was standing right there and watching everything, so I don’t think I could live with myself if his mom would have watched that happen.”

Hosier said he had pain in his leg that caused him to walk with a limp along with an injury to his hand, but both now have healed. 

“I’ve always been under the mindset that I was put here to help people that can’t help themselves,” Hosier said. “I would definitely do it again.”

Hosier said he doesn’t do the job for recognition, and he even attempted to get out of the medal ceremony.

“I’ve known officer Ryan Hosier for a long time. This is not his first life-saving medal,” Minor said, referring to another incident in 2018. “He was a Marine. He’s just an unselfish human being, and he’s also humble.”

As for the man Hosier saved, Minor said he received the help he needed. 

“My understanding is — and it just goes to show mental health can happen to anyone — this is a very successful human being, a very successful human in life,” Minor said. “… But from what I understand, he’s doing well now.”

Sandquist remarked that it was a somber night as council members and police officers who were present celebrated Hosier and mourned the loss of Summit County firefighter Ken Jones.

The mayor began the ceremony by explaining the criteria for the medal, which is awarded for saving a life or an act that involves uncommon risk to an employee in the performance of their duties.

Hosier accomplished both acts at once, Sandquist said, and she was honored to present the award.

“I have never given a service award like this before, so it’s actually pretty cool,” Sandquist said. “I was pretty excited.”

Minor also expressed gratitude for Hosier as an officer and a person. 

“It’s a privilege for me to work with him,” Minor said. “I’m just glad we have police officers like him serving the town of Silverthorne. He’s just a pleasure to work with.”


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