ODNR Wildlife Officers

Ohio Department of Natural Resources Wildlife Officers Jason Keller, Eric Lamb, and Matt Roberts were each presented with the Director’s Award of Valor at a special ceremony on June 28 to recognize their heroic actions. The officers were aiding Ohio Wildlife Investigator Kevin Behr, who was shot while on assignment in December 2020.

EDITOR'S NOTE: This story was originally published by the Ohio Department of Natural Resources.

COLUMBUS – Three Ohio Wildlife Officers were honored by Ohio Department of Natural Resources (ODNR) Director Mary Mertz for their lifesaving actions after Ohio Wildlife Investigator Kevin Behr was shot while on assignment in December 2020.

Officers Jason Keller, Eric Lamb, and Matt Roberts were each presented with the Director’s Award of Valor at a special ceremony on June 28 to recognize their heroic actions.

“Officers Keller, Lamb, and Roberts acted quickly, decisively, and with bravery in the moments that mattered most,” said Director Mertz. “Their actions undoubtedly saved the life of Investigator Kevin Behr, and we owe a special debt of gratitude to these officers for their heroism.”

On Dec. 20, 2020, the officers were working on a law enforcement project in Clinton County after receiving reports of illegal white-tailed deer hunting activities. Investigator Behr was performing surveillance in the area when a suspect shot him. The other three officers quickly assisted Investigator Behr and are credited with saving his life.

“These three men stand as representatives of the training, dedication, and commitment to their peers, the public, and Ohio’s wildlife displayed routinely by the Division of Wildlife staff,” said Kendra Wecker, chief of the ODNR Division of Wildlife “Their work contributes to great hunting and fishing, and I applaud their dedication to public service and safety.”

Wildlife Officers Roberts, Keller, and Lamb were honored for the following actions taken on Dec. 20, 2020:

Ohio Wildlife Officer Matt Roberts

Arriving first on the scene, Officer Roberts immediately rendered first aid to Investigator Behr, including applying direct pressure to stop bleeding and using his emergency trauma supplies. Officer Roberts then assisted paramedics with stabilizing Investigator Behr for transport to a waiting ambulance.

Ohio Wildlife Officer Jason Keller

Officer Keller quickly responded to Investigator Behr’s calls for help. Officer Keller rendered first aid to the injured officer using his emergency trauma supplies. Officer Keller then assisted paramedics with stabilizing Investigator Behr for transport, bringing the injured officer out of a brushy area to a waiting ambulance.

Ohio Wildlife Officer Supervisor Eric Lamb

Officer Lamb had recently returned to his residence when he was notified of the emergency, and he responded to Investigator Behr’s call for help. Officer Lamb immediately rendered first aid to Investigator Behr. He then cleared a path through a brushy area and assisted paramedics with stabilizing Investigator Behr for transport, bringing the injured officer out to a waiting ambulance.

The Division of Wildlife is responsible for conserving and improving fish and wildlife resources in the Buckeye State. Follow the Division of Wildlife on Twitter and Facebook for instant news stories, outdoor recreation ideas, and so much more.

The Your Wild Ohio Explorer page provides wildlife success stories and ways to help wildlife throughout the seasons. Visit wildohio.gov to find locations to hunt, fish, trap, and view wildlife. Follow us on Instagram to view the best of Ohio’s wildlife photography. And don’t forget about the HuntFish OH mobile app, available for Android and iOS users through the app store.

The mission of the Division of Wildlife is to conserve and improve fish and wildlife resources and their habitats for sustainable use and appreciation by all. Visit wildohio.gov to find out more.

ODNR ensures a balance between wise use and protection of our natural resources for the benefit of all. Visit the ODNR website ohiodnr.gov.

Support Our Journalism

Local news coverage is only sustainable with local support. Here at Ashland Source, our stories will always be free to read, but they aren’t free to produce. Support our coverage of Ashland County by becoming a member today for less than $5/month.