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 21st at 3:52 pm, Forest Ranger Evans was notified by a hiker about an injured hiker walking slowly down from Algonquin Peak. The hiker was not wearing any traction devices and fell approximately 15 feet on the ice. Ranger Evans hiked up to the 63-year-old from West Falls, performed first aid, and walked the subject back to his campsite. A reminder that in fall and winter, micro spikes or other traction devices are strongly recommended when hiking above 3,000 feet.
Town of Hunter
Wilderness Rescue: On October 19th at 6:10 pm, Forest Rangers Fox and Franceschina responded to a call for a hiker with leg issues on the Warner Creek trail. At 7 pm, Ranger Franceschina arrived on scene and walked up the trail to find the 62-year-old from Pennsylvania in significant pain and unable to bend his leg. Ranger Franceschina gave the hiker ibuprofen and electrolytes, and helped him back to the trailhead. Ranger Fox assisted the hiker until Greene County EMS arrived. EMS determined the hiker overexerted himself and was dehydrated. Resources were clear at 8:10 pm.
Town of Hunter
Wilderness Rescue: On October 22nd at 2:20 pm, Forest Ranger Dawson and Ranger Lieutenant Pachan were working at the Laurel House parking lot when a call came in for a subject who slipped and fell near the middle area of Kaaterskill Falls. Ranger Dawson checked the viewing platform and was unable to locate the subject. Ranger Dawson continued down to the lower falls, at which time Greene County 911 reported the subject was near the top of the falls. Lt. Pachan located the 63-year-old from Brooklyn near the wood fence at the top of the falls. The subject was calm, but weak and was slowly walking back to the trailhead with the aid of her friends. The subject stated that she slipped and fell from a standing location and was semi-conscious and weak for about 20 minutes after the fall. A short time later, a Greene County Paramedic arrived along with Ranger Dawson and another paramedic, who walked in from the lower falls. After a brief rest, the subject decided to seek further medical attention on her own. Resources were clear by 4 pm.
Town of Arietta
Wilderness Search: On October 19th at 7:30 pm, Forest Rangers Kerr, Nally, Scott, and Thompson responded to a call for a missing hunter at the Otter Lake campsite. The 68-year-old from Bellmore was last seen at 11 am and was expected back by 1 pm. The subject did not have any navigation tools, lights, or proper clothing for the weather. Rangers and a Hamilton County Sheriff’s Deputy searched through the night with no success. The following morning, 11 Rangers and five Sheriff’s Deputies searched trails, streams, and drainages. At 9 am, Ranger Scott located the subject approximately three miles southwest of Spruce Lake. Search crews brought the subject to his awaiting family and friends. He was evaluated by EMS and released, and resources were clear at 10:15 am.
Town of Gardiner
Wilderness Rescue: On October 22nd at 2:22 pm, New York State Police requested Forest Ranger assistance at Minnewaska State Park to hoist a subject who fell approximately 50 feet into a crevice near Gertrude’s Nose. Staff from New York State Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation and local responders raised the 54-year-old with a high angle rope rescue. The subject from New York City suffered a significant head injury and was in and out of consciousness. Rescuers carried him half a mile to Gertrude’s Nose where they were met by Ranger Lieutenant Slade and Ranger Jahn. Rangers loaded the subject into an aviation litter. At 4 pm, with New York State Police pilots Bowe and Leeder flying, Ranger Stratton hoisted the patient into the helicopter. The patient was then transferred to a Life Flight helicopter and taken to the hospital. Resources were clear by 6 pm.
Read past Forest Ranger search and rescue reports here.
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