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 Indian Lake, Hamilton County
On Aug. 9 at 11:20 a.m., Forest Rangers responded to a call for a hiker with an injured ankle approximately 1.4 miles in on the Watch Hill Trail in the town of Indian Lake, Hamilton County. Rangers reached the 69-year-old from Gansevoort in less than an hour. With the help of Indian Lake Rescue, Rangers provided care and packaged the subject to carry her to the beach. From there, Ranger Miller transported the subject by boat to the Indian Lake Islands Campground. Indian Lake EMS drove the patient to the hospital at 2:20 p.m.
Town of Long Lake, Hamilton County
On Aug. 11 at 6:51 a.m., Forest Ranger Miller responded to a call for an injured canoeist on Raquette Lake in the town of Long Lake, Hamilton County. The 61-year-old from Gardiner hurt his leg and couldn’t make it safely back to shore. Ranger Miller located the canoeist and escorted him back to shore using the Ranger boat before providing a courtesy ride to subject’s vehicle. Resources were clear at 9:17 a.m.
Town of Newcomb, Essex County
On Aug. 11 at 12:32 p.m., while on foot patrol, Assistant Forest Ranger (AFR) Raudonis encountered a hiker with an unstable lower leg injury. AFR Raudonis splinted the ankle before Forest Rangers started walking the 49-year-old from Connecticut toward the Lake Colden Outpost in the Adirondack High Peaks, in the town of Newcomb, Essex County. At 4:14 p.m., New York State Police (NYSP) Aviation was called in to help transport the hiker. At 4:41 p.m., NYSP Pilot Kneer reached the subject at the Lake Colden Outpost where Rangers loaded her into the helicopter to be flown to the hospital.
Town of Truxton, Cortland County
On Aug. 12 at 1:03 p.m., while patrolling Labrador Hollow Unique Area, Forest Ranger Chappell overheard a radio call for a subject with a broken leg at Tinker Falls in the town of Truxton, Cortland County. Onondaga County had a general idea of where the 19-year-old from Syracuse could be found. Ranger Chappell and members of the Apulia and Truxton Fire Departments conducted a search and located the subject and his friend in a drainage approximately 0.4 miles upstream from the falls. Ranger Chappell helped splint the subject’s leg. A Tully Ambulance Paramedic provided further aid. Rescuers carried the subject out of the drainage to a waiting ATV, which took him to the ambulance for transport to the hospital. Resources were clear at 3:20 p.m.
Town of Hunter, Greene County
On Aug. 12 at 1:50 p.m., Forest Ranger Lieutenant Slade, and Rangers Dawson and Fox, responded to a report of a hiker with a leg injury along the Kaaterskill Creek stream bed in the town of Hunter, Greene County. The 38-year-old from Colorado had hurt his leg after jumping off a rock. Ranger Dawson bushwacked down the steep terrain and reached the patient at 3:30 p.m. and provided first aid and crutches. Ranger Dawson helped the subject and his family through the woods and up a steep slope to Route 23A, where Lt. Slade and Ranger Fox provided a courtesy ride. The patient’s family took him for further treatment. Resources were clear at 6:30 p.m.
Read past Forest Ranger search and rescue reports here.
Photo of rescue at Watch Hill, Indian Lake in August 2023 provided by DEC.