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
Wilderness Search: On Oct. 25 at 2:56 p.m., Forest Ranger Scott responded to a call for a missing hiker. The 54-year-old from Pennfield made a wrong turn on the Rock River Trail. Ranger Scott located the subject at Benton Road and helped her back to her vehicle at the trailhead. Resources were clear by 4 p.m.
Town of Thompson, Sullivan County
Wilderness Rescue: On Oct. 25 at 5 p.m., Forest Ranger Schweider overheard a radio call for an injured hiker at the Neversink River Unique Area. Ranger Schweider reached the 25-year-old from New Jersey and determined she was showing signs of low blood sugar. After providing oral glucose and some food, Ranger Schweider helped walk the subject out of the woods with the assistance of members of Rock Hill Fire Department. Resources were clear at 6:45 p.m.
Village of Sandy Creek, Oswego County
Wilderness Rescue: On Oct. 27 at 12:56 p.m., Forest Ranger Petit joined New York State Police, the Oswego County Sheriff’s Department, the Oswego County Search Team, and the Lacona Fire Department in the search for a 39-year-old despondent subject. At 2:07 p.m., a drone spotted the subject from Lacona shortly before Ranger Petit’s team located the unconscious individual. Ranger Petit resuscitated the subject before rescue crews carried them in a litter to an ambulance before transporting the subject to the hospital.
Resources are available for those experiencing a mental health crisis or emotional distress — 988 is a free 24-hour hotline to call or text anywhere in New York.
Hamlet of Ticonderoga, Essex County
Vehicle Recovery: On Oct. 27 at 3:30 p.m., Ray Brook Dispatch called Forest Ranger Quinn about two subjects stranded near Crane Pond. The pair’s SUV got stuck in the water and needed a tow. Ranger Quinn helped find a tow truck operator who could make it to the unmaintained road. The tow truck pulled out the SUV, but the vehicle wouldn’t start. Ranger Quinn provided the stranded subjects a courtesy ride to Schroon Lake.
Editor’s Note: Crane Pond Road is in the Pharaoh Lake Wilderness and supposed to be closed to motor vehicles. It is illegal to drive on Crane Pond Road, but local residents and officials have kept the road open, though poorly maintained, for decades.
Town of Bolivar, Allegany County
Wilderness Search: On Oct. 27 at 11:45 p.m., Forest Ranger Thaine responded to a request from Allegany Dispatch to assist in the search for a missing 70-year-old with Parkinson’s disease. The subject was last seen at his Bolivar home at 2 p.m., when he said he was going back into the woods with his dog to retrieve his ATV. When the subject didn’t return by dark, family and friends searched before calling 911. Ranger Thaine joined New York State Police, Bolivar Police, and the Allegany County Sheriff’s Department in the search effort. Bolivar Fire responded with volunteers and UTVs.
Crews searched the woods, trails, and roads through the night. At 6:45 a.m., the Allegany County Sheriff’s Department drone unit spotted the subject in the woods, a short distance from the road, approximately half a mile from his home. Troopers and members of the drone crew went to the location to find the man with his dog and helped walk the subject out to the road. The subject was disoriented, injured from a fall, and cold. Bolivar Ambulance transported them to the hospital for evaluation.
Town of Piercefield, St. Lawrence County
Wilderness Search: On Oct. 28 at 7:30 p.m., Ray Brook Dispatch received a call through 911 from a subject stating his 71-year-old hunting partner was overdue and not answering his cell phone. Four Forest Rangers responded. At 10:09 p.m., Rangers Baldwin and Praczkajlo found the subject from Tupper Lake. The hunter was disoriented after making a wrong turn. Rangers walked the hunter back to the road where he declined further medical evaluation.
Read past Forest Ranger search and rescue reports here.
Photo of SUV recovered near Crane Pond provided by DEC.