New York State Department of Environmental Conservation Forest Rangers respond to search and rescue incidents in the Adirondacks. 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 Plattsburgh
Wilderness Rescue: On March 1st at 3 pm, Forest Ranger assistance was requested by DEC Environmental Conservation Police Officer (ECO) LaCroix and the Cumberland Head Fire Department for two anglers stranded on a floating ice sheet on Lake Champlain. Fire department personnel accessed the men from Plattsburgh with an inflatable rescue craft and brought one of the subjects safely to shore. When Forest Rangers arrived on the scene, two fire department personnel and the second angler and his gear were still on the ice sheet. ECOs and Rangers launched the airboat and Ranger Bronson was able to retrieve all parties and gear from the ice and bring them back to shore.
Town of Brighton
Snowmobile Accident: On March 7th at 5:22 pm, DEC’s Ray Brook Dispatch received a call from Franklin County 911 advising of a snowmobile accident on the C7 snowmobile trail in the town of Brighton. The snowmobile operator appeared to have struck a power pole. Forest Rangers O’Connor, Milano, Lt. Burns, and DEC Environmental Conservation Police Officer (ECO) Cranker responded to the scene, along with Saranac Lake and Paul Smiths-Gabriels fire departments. The 33-year-old subject from Altona was packaged by EMS responders and transported approximately two miles to Route 86 in Gabriels, where Forest Rangers established a landing zone for New York State Police Aviation. The snowmobiler was transferred to North Country Life Flight Medics for air transport to a hospital in Vermont. Rangers and ECOs were cleared of the scene at 7:30 pm and State Police is investigating the incident
Town of Hunter
Wilderness Rescue: On March 5th, Greene County 911 received a call for a 27-year-old hiker from Queens who had fallen on the ice at Kaaterskill Falls. According to the caller, the injured woman and her friend went for a hike at the falls and were attempting to hike from the top to the bottom of the stone staircase, which was covered in ice, creating a steep, slippery surface. The woman was wearing microspikes but lost hold and slid approximately 100 feet to the bottom. Three Forest Rangers responded from North South Lake field station. Two of the Rangers hiked in and located the injured woman, administered first aid, and rewarmed her with the assistance of a Greene County paramedic. Once the hiker began to feel better, rescuers and Rangers assisted her back to the Route 23A trailhead where she was transported to a local hospital for additional medical treatment.
Town of Georgetown
Snowmobile Accident: On March 6th at 3 pm, Forest Ranger Virkler responded to a personal injury snowmobile accident in which three people were injured. Once on scene, the Forest Ranger reported that the injured snowmobilers had been transported to a local hospital and the Ranger was assisting with getting the snowmobiles and the uninjured members of the group off the trail. The Ranger was assisted by members of the New York State Police, Madison County Sheriff’s Office, and Georgetown Fire Department and EMS.
Be Prepared: Properly prepare and plan before entering the backcountry. Visit DEC’s Hiking Safety webpage.