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 Peru
Wilderness Rescue: On the morning of September 13th, Ray Brook dispatch received a report of three stranded paddlers on Valcour Island on Lake Champlain. The three boaters spent an unexpected night out due to bad weather. Ray Brook called the paddlers to advise the group that they were not in danger and to get more details about their whereabouts. Rangers Bronson and Russell responded to the boaters using a stationed motorboat from the DEC dock at Peru and located the three paddlers secure on Bluff Point. The paddlers and Rangers were back at the Peru Boat Launch by 10 am.
Town of North Elba
Wilderness Rescue: On September 7th at 3:35 pm, DEC’s Ray Brook Dispatch received a call from a 37-year-old hiker from the Bronx reporting she had injured her ankle while hiking down Mount Marcy in the High Peaks Wilderness. The hiker indicated that she was mobile and hiking with a partner and that the pair would continue down the mountain. Assistant Forest Ranger Leff responded and started up the mountain to meet the hiking party while Forest Rangers Praczkajlo and Baldwin headed into Marcy Dam on an ATV. Once the Rangers reached the subject, they transported her back to the trailhead. The injured hiker said she would seek further medical attention on her own. The incident concluded at 8:20 pm.
Town of Hunter
Wilderness Rescue: On September 13th, a 37-year-old woman slipped on rocks and injured her lower leg while hiking to the bottom of Kaaterskill Falls with her family. Nearby hikers assisted her while Ranger Dawson responded. The Ranger provided the subject with medical care and she decided she wanted to walk out with the use of crutches. Ranger Gullen and Dawson assisted her out to the lower trailhead, where family picked her up to seek further medical care.
Town of Jewett
Wilderness Rescue: On September 13th, Central Dispatch received a call from a man requesting Ranger assistance for his friend who was unable to continue hiking the Colgate Lake Wild Trail in Greene County. The hiker said his friend was about two miles from the trailhead with no visible injuries but unable to walk after completing a 14-mile hike with his hiking party. The subject became nauseated and short of breath on the climb up, forcing the group to turn around near 3,500 feet of elevation and return to Colgate Lake. Ranger Dawson and Breigle responded to the area to assist and the hiker walked out on his own. Rangers evaluated the man, who declined further medical care.
Town of Rochester
Wilderness Rescue: On September 12th, DEC’s Central Dispatch received a call from Ulster County 911 reporting a man lost while hiking who ended up on the Vernoy trailhead. Coordinates placed the subject on the Long Path in Rochester, approximately 1,600 feet from Trails End Road. The hiker had 20 percent battery left on his phone, no food or water, and was wearing shorts while temperatures dropped. Ranger Slade responded and advised the hiker to stay put. The Ranger found the lost hiker on the Popple Hill Trail, provided him with a flashlight and water, and walked him back to his vehicle at the Upper Cherrytown Trailhead.
Town of Shandaken
Wilderness Rescue: On September 13th, a dispatcher from Ulster County 911 contacted Central Dispatch for a report of five lost hikers on the red trail of Slide Mountain in the town of Shandaken. Ulster County was unable to obtain coordinates for the group’s location but stated they were good on water and warm clothing. Central Dispatch contacted a member of the group and received coordinates. At 11:24 pm, Ranger Brand and two firefighters from the Phoenicia Fire Department located the five hikers, warmed and fed them, and provided the group with headlamps. Rangers Stratton, Allwine, and Franke also assisted, meeting up with Ranger Brand and the hiking party and walking them out of the woods at 3 am. The hikers declined further medical treatment.
Be Prepared: Properly prepare and plan before entering the backcountry. Visit DEC’s Hiking Safety webpage.