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 Vestal
Wildland Search: On April 4th at 3:10 am, DEC’s Central Dispatch received a call from Broome County 911 requesting Forest Ranger assistance with locating a 19-year-old man from Vestal who had gone for a walk in a local park and hadn’t returned home. Local police, fire, EMS, and the Broome County OEM had been searching for the subject since midnight. Forest Rangers Lunt, Burkholder, and Petit responded. Shortly after Ranger Lunt arrived, the man returned home on his own. He had lost his way in the dark and did not have a light source, so he spent the night in the woods. As morning approached, the subject was able to find his way out. The incident concluded at 8:30 am.
Town of Highland
Wilderness Search: On April 3rd at 3:15 pm, Forest Ranger Allwine overheard Sullivan County 911 Dispatch calling for Fire/EMS/Police to respond to the scene of an ATV accident in the town of Highland. Dispatch stated the injured person was located approximately two miles into the woods. Ranger Allwine responded to the Excelsior Hunting Club where club members used an UTV to transport Ranger Allwine to the injured party. The 55-year-old woman from New Windsor had a compound fracture of her lower right leg. Ranger Allwine assisted EMS with a tourniquet, splinting, packaging, and transporting the subject to the UTV. Once out of the woods, the woman was flown via LifeNet helicopter to a local hospital. Ranger Allwine was clear of the scene at 5:15 pm. Agencies assisting were New York State Police, Mobile Medic, American Legion EMS, and White Lake Fire Department.
Town of Royalton
Tonawanda Wildlife Management Area
Wildland Fire: On April 4th, at 2:30 pm, Ranger Kennedy received a call from the local fire department at the scene of a grass fire behind the target range in the Tonawanda Wildlife Management Area. Ranger Kennedy responded to assist with suppression and mapping the size of the fire. After cold trailing the edge, Ranger Kennedy determined the fire burned 8.9 acres of land. By 6:45 pm, the fire was classified as in patrol status.
Broome County, Madison County
Town of Fenner, Town of Maine,
Wildland Fires: On March 30th, Region 7 Forest Rangers responded to wildfires in the towns of Maine and Fenner to assist local fire departments with fire suppression efforts. In both cases, the cause of the fire was determined to be someone violating wildfire regulations. Due to dry conditions and high winds, the fires quickly burned out of control until the fire departments and Rangers arrived. Tickets were issued for the violations. To reduce the number of spring brush fires, New York State’s residential brush burning ban is in effect through May 14th. For more information, go to DEC’s website.
Be Prepared: Properly prepare and plan before entering the backcountry. Visit DEC’s Hiking Safety webpage.