New York State Department of Environmental Conservation Forest Rangers respond to search and rescue incidents throughout 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 Newcomb
Wilderness Rescue: On January 19th at 1 pm, Forest Rangers Martin and Sabo responded to a personal locator beacon activated for an injury report half a mile from Camp Santanoni, approximately 4.5 miles from the trailhead. The hiker’s companions were keeping her warm while waiting for help to arrive. Rangers reached the 22-year-old hiker from Maine one-half hour later and stabilized the knee injury. With the help of the Newcomb Fire Department, Rangers transported the hiker back to Camp Santonini, where she declined further medical attention.
Town of Wilmington
Wilderness Rescue: On January 20th at 10:45 am, Ray Brook Dispatch received a request for Ranger assistance for a 63-year-old with a hip injury. The hiker from Orangeburg was approximately three-quarters of a mile in on Cobble Lookout Trail. Forest Rangers Balerno, Black, Bode, Evans, and Lewis responded. At 11:37 am, Ranger Black reached the subject and assessed the injury. Rangers packaged the hiker and carried her out to Wilmington EMS who transported the subject to the hospital for treatment. Resources were clear at 1 pm.
Town of Windham
Wilderness Rescue: On January 22nd at approximately 2:30 pm, Central Dispatch contacted Ranger Fox about an exhausted and hypothermic subject on the Escarpment Trail near Burnt Knob in the town of Windham. Rangers Fox, Mitchell, and Skudlarek responded. At 6:45 pm, Rangers reached the 24-year-old from Milford and his hiking companion approximately 1.5 miles from the trailhead. The hiker was unable to walk. Ranger Mitchell built a warming fire and Rangers provided the subject with food, hot drinks, and dry gear. More resources were requested in the event the subject was unable to hike out on his own and Rangers Jackson and Martin also responded. The subject’s condition improved so Rangers provided lighter snowshoes and trekking poles and carried the hiker’s pack to help him make it back to the trailhead. The subject declined further medical care and was given a ride home by his family. Resources were clear at 8:30 pm.
Town of Indian Lake
Wilderness Rescue: On January 22nd at 7:41 pm, Forest Ranger Scott was on patrol and encountered a subject on the Newcomb-Blue Mountain Lake snowmobile trail with symptoms of a stroke. Ranger Scott transported the 73-year-old man from Indian Lake by snowmobile to Ranger headquarters on State Route 30. Blue Mountain Lake EMS provided further medical assistance. Resources were clear at 8:10 pm.
Village of Fort Ann
Wilderness Recovery: On January 20th at 5:36 pm, Ray Brook Dispatch received a call for Ranger assistance from Washington County 911 after a hiker reported finding a body at the base of Shelving Rock Falls in the Lake George Wild Forest. Forest Rangers Laczko, St. Claire, Savarie, Donegan, and Kabrehl responded. At 6:44 pm, Rangers located the subject approximately one-third of the way up the falls. Using technical rope rescue techniques, Rangers lowered the deceased subject from the ledge in a sled. From the ground, Rangers conducted a low-angle carry up the hill. Once out the woods, the subject was turned over to the county coroner. Resources were clear at 9:12 pm. New York State Police (NYSP) identified the hiker as 55-year-old Timothy Gillen of Peekskill.
Be sure to properly prepare and plan before entering the backcountry. Visit DEC’s Hike Smart NY, Adirondack Backcountry Information, and Catskill Backcountry Information webpages for more information.
If a person needs a Forest Ranger, whether it’s for a search and rescue, to report a wildfire, or to report illegal activity on state lands and easements, they should call 833-NYS-RANGERS. If a person needs urgent assistance, they can call 911. To contact a Forest Ranger for information about a specific location, the DEC website has phone numbers for every Ranger listed by region.
Read past Forest Ranger search and rescue reports here.