A man was recognized by the Boulder County Sheriff’s Office for staying with a suicidal male at a trailhead for hours while rescuers were en route.
Jonathan Palmer received the Sheriff’s Commendation for his actions on March 19.
According to the sheriff’s office, a man had texted a suicide note, prompting search crews to begin looking for him when his abandoned car was found at a trailhead outside Boulder.
Palmer happened to see the man on the summit of Bear Peak and stopped to check on him. When he saw the man had ingested medication and was suicidal, Palmer called 911 and then stayed with the man while rescue crews hiked in.
“When Jonathan came across the man it was getting dark, and Jonathan could have easily continued down the mountain,” the sheriff’s office wrote. “Instead he stopped to check the welfare of the man.”
Palmer stayed with the man for three hours while crews made their way to the remote location, and lent the man his jacket when it got cold and formed a bond with him.
“Over the three hours, Jonathan built a rapport with the suicidal man while helping him walk down the trail toward rescue,” the sheriff’s office wrote. “When rangers contacted the two men the bond between them was noticeable. Before separating, Jonathan and the man exchanged hugs while Jonathan continued to offer words of encouragement and support.
“It is very likely the man would have succeeded in his attempt to end his life had Jonathan not intervened. Jonathan placed the needs of another person before his own comfort and safety, and as a result saved a life.”
While Palmer did not return requests for comment, he did leave a post on the sheriff’s office Facebook page.
“My hope is (this) story will encourage you to risk and step into the gap for one another,” Palmer wrote. “It’s not usually this dramatic but could potential [sic] be as impactful for another. It was an honor to walk down the mountain with him.”