Congaree National Park Ranger Honored

Lexington, SC (WLTX) -- In April the National Park Service rescued a father and his two children who were missing in the Congaree National Park for over two days.

Friday, Jared Gurtler the law enforcement park ranger credited for making contact with the family that lead to their rescue was honored at Saxe Gotha Elementary School in Lexington.

Previous Coverage: Search Crews Rescue Father, Children In Congaree National Park

Gurtler was the special guest at the school's LEAD (Live responsibly, Engage respectfully, Act safely, Dream big) rally.

The celebration at the school encourages leadership skills and recognizes students, staff, and in this case parents.

Gurtler's 6-year old daughter Ella attends the school and took part in the rally.

Ella said, "He was recognized for finding the people that were lost in the park."

Gurtler spoke to the students about his experience during the rescue of the family at Congaree National Park.

He also gave the students some advice on how to live their life.

According to Gurtler, "Work ethic, taking the initiative, do the right thing, be responsible and be successful," are keys to a successful life.

Gurtler hopes something he said will impact the students positively, since every lesson can't learned from a book.

He said, "It was an honor, I felt very special and I'm just glad I could share my story with the young kids and hopefully they can think about it and use it in their lives."

Even though Gurtler was there to give a speech to the kids, he may have left taking something away for himself.

"I'm just very proud of my daughter and she is very special and to know she is proud of me is very special," said Gurtler.

According to Gurtler search and rescues are fairly common.

This one he was being honored for was the 13th since January, but none of them have lasted as long as this one did.


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