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:
Hurricane Mountain Wilderness – Town of Keene
Distressed hikers: On April 3, 2015 at 12:56 p.m., Essex County 911 transferred a call to DEC Ray Brook Dispatch from two distressed hikers on Hurricane Mountain. The 18-year-old male and 17-year-old female from Plattsburgh, NY said they had become exhausted after post-holing through the snow and could no longer continue to ascend or descend the mountain. They had no snowshoes and no extra clothing. DEC Forest Rangers responded and reached the hikers at 3:36 p.m. The Rangers provided the teens with warm footwear and snowshoes and escorted them back to the trailhead. No medical attention was required. The incident concluded at 5:38 p.m.
Lake George Wild Forest – Town of Fort Ann
Lost hikers: On April 3, 2015 at 8:34 p.m., Washington County 911 transferred a call to DEC Ray Brook Dispatch from three lost hikers on Buck Mountain. Two 18-year-old males from Glens Falls and one 19-year-old male from Queensbury had lost the trail due to darkness and did not have lights, a map or compass to find their way back to the trailhead. Washington County 911 obtained the GPS coordinates of their cell phone. DEC Forest Rangers responded and located the men off the trail in a drainage area at 12:36 a.m. where they had started a campfire to keep warm. The Rangers escorted them back to the trailhead. No medical attention was required. The incident concluded at 2:20 a.m.