SALT LAKE CITY — "It's just great to be alive," Brody Young said at the state Capitol Thursday.
Young, a Utah State Parks ranger, was shot nine times in November during a routine traffic stop near Moab. Three of the shots were stopped by his bulletproof vest or items in his pocket. The other six entered his body.
Thursday, the Grand County Emergency Medical Service personnel who came to Young's aid that night were honored by The Utah Department of Health's Bureau of Emergency Medical Services and Preparedness as part of National EMS Week.
"Good morning. It's great to say that," Young said addressing those who saved him at the awards ceremony. Young teared up as he expressed his gratitude to them.
After he was shot, Young said he laid on the ground with his eyes closed, afraid to move for fear of causing more damage. But then he heard familiar voices — EMTs whom he worked with everyday were on the police radio coming to help him. Hearing their voices comforted him, he said.
"This group of people that are being recognized were really on their game that night," he said. "I guess I'm the trophy of what's come about. I'm grateful I'm still here and for their hard work."
It's the job of EMTs to help everybody, Young said. But on that night, he said the emergency responders saved his life.
"As insignificant as that life is in the big picture, they saved my life and I'm really grateful."
Young was shot while patrolling the Poison Spider Mesa, a place Young said was hard to get immediate help because of how rural it is.
The man wanted in the shooting, Lance Leeroy Arellano, has not been found.
Young said he was improving every day. He was able to play basketball again and could almost run. His goal is to return to work by the fall.