New York State Department of Environmental Conservation Forest Rangers respond to search and rescue incidents in the around New York State. 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.
What follows is a report, prepared by DEC, of recent missions carried out by Forest Rangers.
Town of Keene
Wilderness Rescue: On September 5th at 4:07 pm, DEC’s Ray Brook Dispatch received a request to assist 22-year-old woman from Glenridge, New Jersey, who sustained a non-weight-bearing leg injury a half mile below the Hopkins Junction on Mount Marcy. Forest Rangers and the Mt. Marcy Summit Steward responded to assist. The Steward reached the subject at 4:45 pm, with Forest Ranger Mecus arriving shortly thereafter to help assess and stabilize the injury. The group then began slowly making their way to Marcy Dam. At 8:53 p.m., Forest Ranger Mecus advised that they had made it to Indian Falls and the injured hiker was unable to continue. Forest Rangers Praczkajlo, Lewis, van Laer, DiCinitio, Assistant Ranger Engel, and the Marcy Dam Caretaker responded to help. At 11:20 pm, the hiker was driven out from Marcy Dam to Meadows Lane on a waiting UTV. A friend picked up the hiker and advised they would seek further medical assistance on their own.
Town of Keene
Wilderness Rescue: On September 5th at 8:27 pm, DEC’s Ray Brook Dispatch received notification from Forest Rangers engaged in another rescue on Mount Marcy that they had encountered a hiker suffering from back spasms and in need of assistance. Forest Ranger Bode responded and assisted the 43-year-old hiker from Farmingdale down the trail to the Marcy Dam outpost where she received a ride back to the trailhead on a waiting UTV. The injured hiker advised she would seek further medical attention on her own.
Town of Waverly
Wilderness Rescue: On September 5th at 4 pm, DEC’s Ray Brook Dispatch received a call from a hiker reporting that his wife had injured her ankle about a half mile from the trailhead of Azure Mountain. Forest Ranger Lt. Harjung responded along with Forest Rangers Balerno and Evans, the St. Regis Falls Fire Department, and EMS. Once on scene, Lt. Harjung splinted the injury and the group started slowly making their way down the trail. The injured hiker was able to get down off the steeper slope with the assistance of hiking poles and leaning on the shoulders of rescuers. The responders then placed the subject in a litter and carried her the remainder of the way to the trailhead. The hiker declined additional medical treatment and said she would seek treatment on her own.
Town of Hunter – Kaaterskill Wild Forest
Wilderness Rescue: On September 3rd at 11:54 am, Forest Rangers received a call from DEC’s Central Dispatch regarding a 39-year-old man from Croton-on-Hudson who slipped while hiking the escarpment trail near the Artist Rock and heard a snap in his ankle. Forest Rangers Fox, Breigle, and Assistant Forest Ranger France responded along with Greene County EMS and volunteers from the Haines Falls, Cedar Grove, and Tannersville fire departments. The responders packed the hiker in a litter and carried him out to a waiting ambulance for transport to a local hospital. The incident concluded by 2:30 pm.
Town of Hunter – Indian Head Wilderness Area- Plattekill Clove
Wilderness Rescue: On September 6th at 9 pm, a group of nine hikers called Greene County 911 reporting they were lost due to darkness and cliffs near the creek in Plattekill Clove. Forest Rangers Dawson, Fox, Breigle, and Slade responded to assist. The Rangers made voice contact with the hikers and bushwhacked to their location through steep terrain. Rangers utilized rope systems to assist the hikers up the steep terrain and back up to the road. All were out of the woods by 4:18 am.
Town of Deerpark
Wildland Fire: On September 5th, Orange County 911 requested the assistance of Forest Ranger Parlier with a wildland fire on private property in the town of Deerpark. The unattended brush fire had spread and was later contained to approximately two acres through the use of an excavator the landowner had on site and the assistance of the Cuddeback, Huguenot, Otisville, Westbrookville, Sparrowbrush, and Port Jervis fire departments. The fire was declared out at approximately 3:45 pm.
St. Lawrence County
Town of Clifton
Wilderness Rescue: On September 6th at 9:26 am, DEC’s Ray Brook Dispatch received a call for an injured hiker on the Cranberry Lake 50 trail. The caller stated that her 14-year-old son pulled his Achilles tendon and could not continue the hike. The group was on the east side of Brandy Brook Flow on Cranberry Lake and Forest Ranger Baldwin responded by boat. Ranger Baldwin arrived to the hiking party by 10:06 am, and transported the group by boat to shore shortly thereafter. The injured hiker from Plattsburgh declined further medical care at the scene and advised he would seek medical attention on his own.
Town of Shandaken – Slide Wilderness Area
Wilderness Rescue: On September 5th at 4:30 pm, a 32-year-old woman from Bellmawr, New Jersey, hiking the red trail to the summit of Wittenburg Mountain called Ulster County 911 requested assistance off the mountain due to a pre-existing medical condition that made it difficult for her to walk. Forest Rangers Martin, Brand, Griggsby, and Rusher responded to GPS coordinates that placed her three miles from the trailhead. Rangers assisted the subject for the first mile back, but her condition deteriorated rapidly, requiring a carryout. Volunteers from the Phoenecia, Olive, Pine Hill, and Shandaken fire departments provided resources to assist Rangers with carrying the hiker out of the woods. At 1:30 am, the hiker was transported to a local hospital for medical treatment.
Be Prepared: Properly prepare and plan before entering the backcountry. Visit DEC’s Hiking Safety webpage.