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 Acting DEC 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 Keene – High Peaks Wilderness
Injured Hiker: On October 13, 2015 at 6:50 p.m., the Johns Brook Outpost Caretaker contacted DEC Ray Brook Dispatch via radio to report an injured male hiker. The 16-year-old from Ottawa, ON, CA sustained a lower leg injury and was unable to put all of his weight on the injured leg. The Johns Brook Lodge Caretaker assessed the injury and provided basic First Aid and DEC Forest Rangers responded by All-Terrain Vehicle. Rangers arrived to the Outpost at 10:03 p.m. and prepared the teen for transport to the Southside trailhead along with two school counselors from the boys hiking group. Rangers transported them to the Keene Valley Fire Department and released the boy to his father and then transported the school counselors back to the Garden Trailhead. The incident concluded at 11:50 p.m.
Town of Willsboro – Private Land
Lost Hiker: On October 15, 2015 at 3:11 p.m., Essex County 911 contacted DEC Ray Brook Dispatch reporting a 73-year-old man from Alburgh, VT who became disoriented on Rattlesnake Mountain. One DEC Forest Ranger responded to the area. The Ranger used phone coordinates and a mapping program on the lost hiker’s phone to locate him on a logging road at 4:01 p.m. The Ranger transported him back to his vehicle at the Rattlesnake trailhead in good condition. The incident concluded at 4:08 p.m.
Town of Wilmington – Wilmington Wild Forest
Distressed Hiker: On October 18, 2015 at 12:20 p.m., a hiking party on the summit of Bear Den Mountain contacted DEC Ray Brook Dispatch requesting assistance for a 65-year-old man from Tupper Lake, NY in medical distress and unable to descend the mountain. DEC Forest Rangers responded to the area and discovered the hiker’s condition had improved and he had begun walking down the mountain with assistance from his companions. The Forest Rangers helped him walk back to the trailhead. The incident concluded at 3:45 p.m.
Town of Indian Lake – Sargent Pond Wild Forest
Lost Hiker: On October 13, 2015 at 3:17 p.m., DEC Ray Brook received a call from Hamilton County 911 reporting a 50-year-old man from Berayam, IL lost in the Eagle Lake Private trail system. DEC Dispatch contacted a Forest Ranger in the vicinity who then called the lost man directly. The Forest Ranger and the caretaker of Eagle Nest Camp located the man at 5:23 p.m. The man stated that he went for a walk along the private trail system and wandered off the trail. After speaking with Ray Brook Dispatch, he managed to access the navigation system on his cell phone and returned to the trail system on the property. The Forest Ranger escorted him back to the camp in good condition. The incident concluded at 7:00 p.m.
Town of Fort Ann – Lake George Wild Forest
Injured Hiker: On October 12, 2015 at 2:41 p.m., DEC Ray Brook received a call from a passing hiker reporting an injured female hiker approximately a half mile from the summit of Sleeping Beauty. DEC Forest Rangers responded to the Dacy Clearing Parking area while West Ft. Ann Fire and Rescue staged at the Upper Hogtown parking area. Rangers located the 48-year-old woman from Gansevoort, NY approximately a half mile from the trailhead. They conducted an assessment and provided basic First Aid. The woman walked to the trailhead on her own. West Fort Ann EMS assessed her and she declined any further medical treatment. The incident concluded at 6:30 p.m.
Town of Fort Ann – Lake George Wild Forest
Injured Hiker: On October 12, 2015 at 4:00 p.m., while responding to another incident, a DEC Forest Ranger encountered a 46-year-old injured female hiker from Clifton Park, NY. The woman slipped and sustained a lower leg injury while hiking the Sleeping Beauty trail system. The Forest Ranger assessed the hiker, provided basic First Aid and escorted her out to the trailhead where West Fort Ann EMS evaluated her further. She declined any further medical treatment. The incident concluded at 6:30 p.m.