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 North Elba
Wilderness Rescue: On October 8th at 4:39 pm, a hiker called 911 to report another hiker on Algonquin Peak near McIntyre Falls was suffering from headaches and dizziness. Forest Ranger Mecus responded and reached the 51-year-old from Quebec at 5:50 pm. Ranger Mecus helped the subject down the trail where they were met by Ranger Praczkajlo in a UTV to transport them back to the trailhead. The subject declined further medical attention. Resources were clear at 6:43 pm.
Town of North Elba
Wilderness Rescue: On October 9th at 11:20 am, Ray Brook Dispatch requested Forest Ranger assistance with a hiker suffering from a non-ambulatory leg injury approximately three-quarters of the way up the Mt. Van Hoevenberg East trail. Rangers Mecus, O’Connor, and Praczkajlo responded along with an ORDA medic. The medic reached the 49-year-old from Croghan at 12:03 pm. Rangers and the medic packaged the subject in a litter and carried her out to the trailhead where Lake Placid Ambulance then transported the subject to Adirondack Medical Center. Resources were clear at 2 pm.
Town of Willsboro
Wilderness Rescue: On October 9th at 1:10 pm, Ranger Black responded to Poke-O-Moonshine Mountain for two subjects unable to continue on the trail due to rocky and wet terrain. Ranger Black spoke to the subjects on the phone and told the pair to stay where they were. Ranger Black reached the hikers from Big Flats at 2:42 pm. The hikers were well-prepared for a day hike and able to shelter in place during a rainstorm. Ranger Black assisted the hikers back to the trailhead by 3:15 pm.
Town of Benson
Wilderness Rescue: On September 28th at 6 pm, Ray Brook Dispatch requested Forest Ranger assistance with two hikers who became separated from each other on the Northville Placid Trail. Rangers Miller, Nally, and Thompson responded to the area and started checking trail registers before searching three different sections of the first 18 miles of the trail. Ranger Thompson located the 35-year-old from Arizona asleep at the primitive campsite where the hikers originally planned to meet. The hikers unknowingly passed each other at one point. Rangers ensured the hikers met up the following day.
Town of Wells
Wilderness Rescue: On October 8th at 5:30 pm, Forest Ranger Thompson heard radio traffic about a 19-year-old who fell into Austin Falls on the Sacandaga River and was stranded on the west side of the river. Ranger Thompson hiked down, located the subject from Speculator, and helped her back to her parents on the east side of the river. Speculator Fire/EMS, Wells Fire, Hamilton County Sheriff’s Deputies, and Greater Amsterdam Volunteer Ambulance also responded.
Town of Naples
Wilderness Rescue: On October 7th at 4:33 pm, Ontario County 911 reached out to Forest Ranger Dormer about three hikers stranded in the Parish Conklin Gully in High Tor Wildlife Management Area. Ranger Dormer responded to the scene, met with EMS and volunteers, and set up a Unified Command. Search teams approached the rim trail via UTV and the streambed by foot. At 5:47 pm, search teams located the hikers and determined rope rescues were the best option to get the subjects out safely. Rescue crews helped one hiker from Canandaigua by a low-angle rope technique, assisting her down some waterfalls, and back to the trailhead where she was warmed up in an ambulance. The other two hikers from Pennsylvania were evacuated by rescue crews via a 200-foot vertical rope hoist. Yates County Rope Rescue Team, Ontario County High Angle Rope Rescue Team, Naples Ambulance, and the Yates County Sheriff’s Department all assisted in the rescue. Resources were clear at 9 pm.
Town of Thurman
Wilderness Rescue: On October 1st, at 9:30 pm, Ray Brook Dispatch requested Forest Ranger assistance with students lost near Dippikill Pond. Ranger Thompson contacted the students via phone and responded to the area, where the Ranger made voice contact and reached the students a short time later. The students were cold, hungry, and thirsty, but healthy. The young people were on a day retreat through a local university, but the buses left while they were lost in the woods. Ranger Thompson provided warm clothing, food, water, and headlamps, and led the students out of the woods to the Dippikill Wilderness Retreat facility where they stayed until one of their parents picked them up the following morning. Resources were clear at 1:30 am.
Read past Forest Ranger search and rescue reports here.
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