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 New Russia/Giant Mountain Wilderness Area
Wilderness Rescue: On May 29th at 11 am, Essex County 911 advised DEC’s Ray Brook dispatch of a 41-year-old hiker from Port Henry with a possible ankle injury on Bald Mountain. Forest Ranger Bode conducted a phone interview and confirmed the injury was non-weight bearing. Eight Forest Rangers were dispatched to the trailhead to prepare for a possible carry-out. Due to the remote location, NYSP Aviation was requested and Ranger Bode was lowered down to the hiker’s location. The Ranger assessed the injury and prepared the subject for an aviation extraction. Forest Ranger Praczkaljo then hoisted the hiker from the shore of Lake Mary Louise for transport to a local hospital for additional medical assistance. Ranger Bode walked out with the remaining hiking party, arriving at the trailhead at approximately 5 pm.
Town of North Elba
Wildland Rescue: On May 29th at 2:45 pm, DEC’s Ray Brook Dispatch received a call from the Saranac Lake Fire Department reporting a 28-year-old woman from Saranac Lake with a lower leg injury on the trails near Turtle Pond in the Saranac Lakes Wild Forest. Forest Ranger O’Connor and Lt. Burns assisted the Saranac Lake rescue squad with locating the injured hiker. Rangers assisted medical personnel with splinting the injury and extracting the hiker using the Rangers’ wheeled litter system. At 4:40 pm, the hiker was out of the woods and transported by EMS to a local hospital for additional treatment.
Town of Morehouse
Wildland Rescue: On May 30th at 7:46 pm, Hamilton County 911 transferred a call to DEC’s Ray Brook Dispatch reporting a hiker lost in the woods in the town of Morehouse. The call was dropped during the transfer attempt, but 911 was able to provide coordinates that placed the man in a drainage area in the West Canada Lake Wilderness. Contact was made with the lost hiker and he was advised to stay at his location. Forest Rangers Thompson and Nally responded, locating the 43-year-old man from Camillus just before 10 pm. Rangers escorted the hiker back to his vehicle and all units were clear of the scene by 11:45 pm.
Town of West Turin
Wildland Search: On May 30th at approximately 1:51 pm, Lewis County 911 received a call from a 12-year-old girl from Blossvale who became disoriented while looking for a lost dog. The county contacted Forest Ranger Evans who responded to the subject’s location using the coordinates provided. At 2:16 pm, Ranger Evans located the girl and proceeded to escort her out to a nearby railroad bed where they were met by an NYSP Trooper. The girl was turned over to the State Police who drove her back to her grandparents’ home and Ranger Evans was then cleared of the scene. Additional assistance was provided by Lewis County Sheriff’s Department.
Be Prepared: Properly prepare and plan before entering the backcountry. Visit DEC’s Hiking Safety webpage.