New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) 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 Acting Commissioner Marc Gerstman. “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:
Town of Willsboro – Taylor Pond Wild Forest
Stranded Climbers: On September 11 at 2:20 p.m., DEC Ray Brook Dispatch received a call from Essex County 911 reporting two rock climbers stranded on the Poke-O-Moonshine climbing trail. The 54-year-old man from Longueil, Quebec and the 23-year-old woman from Montreal, Quebec climbed Catharsis on the Poke-O-Moonshine slab and were in the process of rappelling down when their rope got stuck. They secured themselves at a belay station and called for help. A DEC Forest Ranger and two technical rock climbers responded. The technical rope climbers reached the climbers at 5:00 p.m., climbed above them and freed their rope. The group repelled down to the base and hiked out to their vehicles. The incident concluded at 5:30 p.m.
Town of Brighton – Debar Mountain Wild Forest
Injured Fisherman: On September 9 at 8:50 p.m., DEC Ray Brook Dispatch received a call from Franklin County 911 requesting assistance for a fisherman on Mountain Pond who fell off a rock ledge. The 41-year-old man from Federalsburg, MD slipped and fell 20 feet while walking along a ridgeline. A DEC Forest Ranger responded with the Saranac Lake Fire Department and Rescue Squad, Paul Smiths – Gabriels Fire Department, and New York State Police. They located the man at the bottom of the cliff approximately .2 miles from Route 30 where they packaged and carried him out to the waiting ambulance. The ambulance transported the injured man to Adirondack Medical Center – Saranac Lake for further medical treatment. The incident concluded at 11:00 p.m.