New York State Department of Environmental Conservation Forest Rangers respond to search and rescue incidents statewide. Working with other state agencies, local emergency response organizations and volunteer search and rescue groups, Forest Rangers locate and extract lost, injured or distressed people from the backcountry.
“DEC Forest Rangers’ knowledge of first aid, land navigation and technical rescue techniques are often critical to the success of their missions,” said DEC Commissioner Joe Martens. “Search and rescue missions often require Rangers to function in remote wilderness areas from rugged mountainous peaks to white-water rivers, and through vast forest areas from spruce-fir thicket to open hardwoods.”
Recent missions carried out by DEC Forest Rangers in the Adirondacks include:
Lake George Wild Forest – Town of Lake George
Lost Hikers: On April 7, 2015 at 8:00 p.m., DEC Ray Brook Dispatch received a call from Warren County 911 reporting three females lost on Prospect Mountain. The 19-year-old woman and two 20-year-old women from Glens Falls, one of them with a possible leg injury, made their way from a trail to the first Prospect Toll Road Crossing with no flashlights. Dispatch advised them to stay on the road until Forest Rangers arrived. Rangers located the women at 8:54 p.m. and transported them to their vehicle. The injured woman said she would seek medical attention on her own. The incident concluded at 9:30 p.m.
Siamese Ponds Wilderness – Town of Johnsburg
Lost Skier: On April 12, at 2:40 p.m., DEC Ray Brook Dispatch received word of a skier lost in the glades at the Gore Mt. Ski area. The 22-year-old man from Fulton called Warren County 911, who then contacted ski patrol. Warren County 911 obtained GPS coordinates from the man’s cell phone, which they relayed to responding DEC Forest Rangers. Rangers located the skier by 4:15 p.m. They escorted him back to the ski area in good condition.
Siamese Ponds Wilderness – Town of Indian Lake
Lost Hiker: On April 12, at 6:20 p.m., DEC Ray Brook Dispatch received a call from Hamilton County 911 reporting a 26-year-old man from Malta lost on Chimney Mountain. New York State Police received the initial call and obtained GPS coordinates from the man’s cell phone, which they relayed to responding DEC Forest Rangers. Rangers located the hiker at 9:05 p.m., who showed symptoms of mild hypothermia. Rangers warmed him up before walking him back to the trailhead where the Indian Lake Ambulance Squad waited. The ambulance transported the hiker to Glens Falls Hospital for evaluation. The incident concluded at 11:55 p.m.