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 Deerpark
Wilderness Search: On Nov. 25 at 10:15 p.m., Central Dispatch received a call from Orange County 911 requesting Forest Ranger assistance with a search for a missing subject. Rangers Cowart, Franceschina, Jahn, and Sweeney responded. At 8 a.m. the following morning, the subject’s father located the missing man in good condition approximately four miles from his home. The subject spent the night wandering around, lost, unable to find his way back home. New York State Police, Orange County Sheriff’s Deputies, Deerpark Police, Walkill Police, Cuddebackville Fire, and Huguenot Fire assisted in the search. Resources were clear at 8:40 a.m.
Town of Keene
Wilderness Rescue: On Nov. 26 at 4:30 p.m., Ranger Lewis responded to a call for a hiker at Rainbow Falls who was having difficulty walking due to a neurological condition. Ranger Lewis coordinated with Adirondack Mountain Reserve staff to borrow an ATV to drive on the seasonal road to locate the 56-year-old from West Babylon. The road was impassable with a truck because of winter and mud conditions. Ranger Lewis helped the hiker and her hiking partner back to their vehicle where she advised she would seek medical treatment on her own. Resources were clear at 6 p.m.
Town of North Elba
Wilderness Rescue: On Nov. 27 at 8 p.m., Ray Brook Dispatch received a call about a lost 19-year-old hiker in the High Peaks Wilderness Area. The caller did not have a specific location but noted they were with a hiking partner. Forest Rangers Lewis, O’Connor, and Praczkajlo responded. With help from New York State Police, Rangers checked trail registers and parking lots to determine the potential location of the individuals. At 9:30 p.m., the hiking partner called from the Adirondak Loj trailhead to report that the pair had become separated and last communicated at 5 p.m. when the other hiker descended Iroquois Peak. At 12:45 a.m., the 19-year-old from Schenectady called his father. Rangers directed him to call 911 so responders could get a better location. The young man was near the summit of Algonquin Peak in waist-deep snow, becoming lethargic, and dozing off. Ranger Praczkajlo kept him awake on the phone, helping prevent further injury. At 4:22 a.m., Rangers reached the subject. He was hypothermic and lost feeling in his lower legs and feet. Rangers warmed him, provided food and drink, and assisted the hiker to the trailhead where they met a Lake Placid Ambulance at 6:35 a.m. The hiker was taken to Adirondack Medical Center. Resources were clear at 7 a.m.
Town of Fort Ann
Wilderness Recovery: On Nov. 27 at 9:30 a.m., Forest Rangers were notified about a hunter having cardiac issues walking down the Pilot Knob trail to the Buck Mountain trailhead. When Rangers and Pilot Knob Fire arrived, the hunter was unconscious. Other hunters, hikers, and fire department personnel were performing CPR on the hunter. Rangers and EMS personnel continued these efforts. At 10:18 a.m., the hunter was declared deceased by the lead Fort Ann EMS Paramedic. DEC Investigator Goodrich also responded.
Read past Forest Ranger search and rescue reports here.