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 Lexington, Greene County
On Aug. 14 at 11:26 a.m., Forest Ranger Allwine received a call from the Frost Valley YMCA Director about a camper who fell 10 feet off a rock face at the John Robb lean-to in the Rusk Mountain Wild Forest. One member of the group was a wilderness first responder. Rangers Allwine, Fox, Peterson, and Assistant Forest Ranger Zeleznik reached the 11-year-old from Brooklyn at 1:30 p.m. The patient had a back injury and complained of pain while speaking. Rangers stabilized the camper in a vacuum mattress and litter, carried her out to the Rangers’ vehicle, and drove her to the trailhead. Ashland Ambulance, Greene County Paramedics, and Lexington Rescue also responded. At 5:16 p.m., Ashland Ambulance transported the patient to the hospital.
Town of North Hudson, Essex County
On Aug 16 at 8:50 a.m., nine Forest Rangers responded to a call for three missing hikers on the Dix Range who were supposed to meet the rest of their hiking party the night before at the Slide Brook lean-to. The teenagers from Troy, West Sand Lake, and Wynantskill were well-trained hikers with headlamps, food, water, a map, and a compass. As Rangers searched high probability areas, Ranger Savarie checked the log book at the Lillian Brook lean-to and determined the hikers spent the night there. The teens left a note that they were unsure of which way to go on the trail and would attempt to bushwhack towards the water. At 2:20 p.m., Ranger Morehouse located the trio in dense swamp and helped them back to the trailhead where they were met by their parents.
Town of Webb, Herkimer County
On Aug. 17 at 1:14 p.m., Ray Brook Dispatch requested Forest Ranger assistance for an injured hiker on Bald Mountain. Lieutenant Hoag, Ranger Stone, and Assistant Forest Ranger (AFR) Bolton responded along with Eagle Bay and Old Forge fire departments, and Old Forge Ambulance. AFR Bolton reached the 74-year-old from Rome and provided first aid for the leg injury. Rescuers carried the subject off the mountain using a wheeled litter. At 4:25 p.m., Old Forge ambulance transported the subject to the hospital.
Hamlet of Napanoch, Ulster County
On Aug. 17 at 11:27 p.m., New York State Parks Police requested Forest Ranger assistance with a search for two campers in the Sam’s Point Preserve portion of Minnewaska State Park. At 6:45 p.m., four counselors and 16 campers were dropped off at Sam’s Point Preserve for a hike. The 18-year-old and 23-year-old campers became separated from the group on the Ice Caves Trail. Fog and thunderstorms hampered search efforts. The following morning, Rangers led the multi-agency search operation. At 11 a.m., rescuers located the subjects in thick vegetation. The subjects were cold, wet, and dehydrated from spending the night without any supplies. Rescuers provided food and water, assisted the pair through the heavy brush, and turned them over to Hatzalah EMS for transport to the hospital. Resources were clear at 3:30 p.m.
Town of North Elba, Essex County
On Aug 18 at 3:55 p.m., Forest Rangers Duchene and Foutch responded to a call for a 14-year-old who fell while coming down Algonquin Peak. Rangers reached the teenager from Fairport by 6 p.m., wrapped his leg, and helped him and his mother down the trail. They reached their vehicle at 8:02 p.m. and decided to seek further medical attention on their own.
Town of Caroga, Fulton County
On Aug 18 at 10:07 p.m., Ray Brook Dispatch received a call about two 19-year-old campers who needed help getting back to the trailhead. Forest Ranger Thompson responded and spoke to one of the teenager’s fathers, who was at the trailhead. The teens planned to camp at Nine Corner Lake but realized they didn’t have a fly for their tent. They attempted to walk out, but it was dark and raining, and they did not have proper footwear; one of them was barefoot. Ranger Thompson hiked up the trail, found the subjects, and helped carry their gear to the trailhead. While they didn’t need medical attention in this incident, campers are encouraged to ensure they have all the proper gear before embarking on an outdoor adventure.
Town of Hunter, Greene County
On Aug. 19 at 4:35 p.m., Forest Rangers France and Mitchell responded to Moore’s Bridge Falls on Kaaterskill Creek for a report of a subject stuck in the water. Twin Cloves Technical Rescue Team and Rangers reached the subject by 6 p.m. The 26-year-old from Bayside was stuck in a crevasse. Rescuers freed her from the crevasse and rigged her to a high-angle rope system to help her walk upstream. Hunter Ambulance transported the subject to the hospital at 7:20 p.m.
Town of Elizabethtown, Essex County
On Aug. 21 at 8:48 a.m., Forest Ranger Foutch responded to a call for an injured hiker between Bald Peak and Rocky Peak Ridge. At 12:30 p.m., Ranger Foutch reached the 31-year-old from Buffalo, wrapped her ankle, and provided nourishment before helping her back to the trailhead.
Town of Lake Luzerne, Warren County
On Aug. 21 at 9:45 a.m., Ray Brook Dispatch requested Forest Ranger assistance for a hiker who fell at Potash Mountain. Three Rangers reached the 57-year-old from Pennsylvania and performed a successful carry-out with Corinth and Hadley-Luzerne fire departments. Rangers brought the subject to an awaiting Corinth ambulance at 2 p.m.
Read past Forest Ranger search and rescue reports here.
Photo of Potash Mountain rescue provided by DEC.