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 Alma
Wilderness Search and Rescue: On May 2nd at 8:40 pm Forest Rangers Thaine and Krulish responded to a search for a missing 75-year-old man from the town of Alma. The subject had gone for an ATV ride and was three hours overdue. New York State Police responded along with Alma, Wellsville, Allentown, and Willing fire departments, Wellsville Rescue, and Allegany County Sheriff’s Deputies. Forest Rangers established an Incident Command Post and began search assignments. Using an Allegany County Sheriff’s drone to survey the area, the responders spotted the man and a team in the field quickly deployed to the subject’s location. The missing man was involved in an ATV accident but suffered no significant injuries. However, the ATV caught fire and started a small surface fire that the responders were able to quickly suppress. The subject was assessed and returned home. Rangers cleared the scene by 1:30 am.
Town of Bleeker
Wilderness Rescue: On May 1st at 2:21 pm, DEC’s Ray Brook Dispatch received a call from the Fulton County Sheriff’s Office reporting a hiker with a possible femur fracture on the County Line Lake Trail in the Shaker Mountain Wild Forest. Forest Rangers Thompson, Nally, and Kerr responded, along with the Caroga Lake Fire Department. The 37-year-old hiker from Gloversville was located approximately one mile up the trail by Ranger Kerr and fire department personnel. After providing medical care, Rangers Thompson and Nally coordinated with rescuers to package the hiker for extrication, utilizing a stokes litter and a six-wheel ATV. The hiker was transported to the trailhead and turned over to ambulance personnel for transportation to a local hospital for additional medical care.
Town of Hunter
Wilderness Search: On May 1st at 2 am, DEC’s Central Dispatch received a call from New York State Police requesting Forest Ranger assistance to search for a missing individual. State Police had located the missing subject’s vehicle at the Laurel House parking lot. Forest Rangers Fox, Bink, Gullen, Martin, Mitchell, Petit, and Slade responded, along with New York State Police K-9s and Greene County Sheriff’s Deputies. Forest Ranger Slade searched from the air in a State Police helicopter, while Ranger Martin used a drone to cover other dangerous terrain. Rangers located items believed to belong to the subject, which served to focus the search to a specific location. Divers from the Sheriff’s Office and State Police located the subject, a 36-year-old from Yonkers, deceased in one of the Kaatterskill waterbodies. Haines Falls and Tannersville fire departments assisted in the carry-out to the trailhead where the subject was released to the Greene County Coroner.
Town of Webb
Wilderness Search: On April 30th at 10:57 pm, DEC’s Ray Brook Dispatch received a call from Herkimer County 911 requesting Forest Ranger assistance in locating a 66-year-old man from Erieville. The man’s vehicle was located by family and New York State Police at his camp earlier in the day, but the subject was nowhere to be found. Forest Rangers, along New York State Police using a drone, State Police K-9, Town of Webb Police Department, and Herkimer County agencies, searched the area during the night with negative results. At 9 am on May 1, a State Police K-9 search team located the missing man near West Pond, a short distance from his camp. The subject had suffered an injury and was extremely cold. Search personnel immediately warmed and fed the man before transporting him out to Old Forge Ambulance where he was taken to a local hospital for medical treatment.
Be Prepared: Properly prepare and plan before entering the backcountry. Visit DEC’s Hiking Safety webpage.