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:
High Peaks Wilderness, Town of Keene
Injured Hiker: DEC Ray Brook Dispatch received a call at 10:40 a.m. on January 24 requesting assistance for an injured hiker below the slide on Lower Wolf Jaw. Hiking partners reported a 21-year-old male from Greensburg, PA had lost his footing and slid down the slide, injuring his lower leg. Seven DEC Forest Rangers responded, and one Forest Ranger was lowered into Lower Wolf Jaw by the New York State Police Aviation Unit. Rangers assessed and secured the hiker. State Police hoisted him out and flew him to Marcy field where a North Country Life Flight medic was picked up. The helicopter transported the hiker to Adirondack Health in Saranac Lake for treatment. The incident concluded at 12:40 p.m.
Chazy Highlands, Town of Dannemora
Distressed Hiker: DEC Ray Brook Dispatch received a call from a hiking party at 12:50 p.m. on January 24 advising one of their members, a 75-year-old male from Plattsburgh, NY, was in medical distress. They reported their location to be at the junction of the old Lyon Mountain Trail and the new Lyon Mountain Trail. Three DEC Forest Rangers responded and reached the hiker at 1:54 p.m. Rangers assessed the hiker and transported him down the mountain by snowmobile where the Lyon Mountain EMS met them. The incident concluded at 2:30 p.m.
Prior to heading out, people are encouraged to consult the DEC Adirondack Trail Information web page, which provides current trail condition information and links to current weather, snow cover and other important information to help ensure a safe and enjoyable Adirondack backcountry winter experience.