Thomas Healy ’10


Thomas Healy ’10

When Thomas Healy ’10 took a Wilderness First Aid class in his sophomore year at IC, it sparked a passion in him for providing medical care in remote and sometimes dangerous environments.

Healy drew upon that experience, and his training as a U.S. Park Ranger, in February 2019 when he and a fellow ranger responded to a search and rescue call in a closed area of Yosemite National Park. When Healy reached the location, he found that one hiker had already died, but there were four others who had become trapped by falling ice and rock. Healy guided them to shelter and comforted them while they waited for a rescue helicopter to arrive. After the survivors had been rescued, Healy and a fellow ranger were extricated and taken to safety just as darkness descended and an avalanche threatened their lives.

Later that year, Healy was presented with the Valor Award from the U.S. Department of the Interior, one of the department’s highest awards given to an employee who risks their own life in attempting to save the lives of others.

“Getting to protect those who visit Yosemite National Park, and to protect the park from the people, has been one of the most rewarding things I have done in my life, and I owe it to Ithaca College for getting my foot in the door.”