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 and engage in policing on New York State Lands.
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 Jan. 18 at 8 p.m., Forest Rangers Miller and Scott responded to a request from New York State Police (NYSP) in Indian Lake to help search for three teenagers. A resident alerted Rangers to footprints heading towards the lake. After checking the thickness of the ice, Rangers used snowmobiles to track the subjects and followed the tracks for approximately 1.5 miles until they left the ice and entered the woods of the Siamese Ponds Wilderness Area.
Ranger Scott started tracking on foot for more than a mile, which continued back onto the lake and toward a set of islands, while Ranger Miller continued patrolling the shoreline. Rangers found the three subjects suffering from mild hypothermia and warmed the teenagers while Lieutenant Kerr and Ranger Snye found an area by Route 30 that could be reached by snowmobile.
Rangers and the Hamilton County Sheriff’s Office helped transport the subjects and met up with Indian Lake EMS. The teens were then turned over to NYSP and their parents. Resources were clear at 12 a.m.
Town of Kent, Putnam County
Ice Rescue: On Jan. 20 at 2:47 p.m., Forest Ranger Lieutenant Ashida was in the parking lot at White Pond talking to anglers about measuring the thickness of the ice when an angler ran over reporting someone nearby had just fallen through the ice. Lieutenant Ashida grabbed a personal flotation device and a throw bag and ran to the location.
A nearby angler had already successfully pulled the 65-year-old from Patterson out of the water. Lieutenant Ashida helped walk the subject to his car and met Ranger Cowart and members of the Kent and Kent Cliff Fire Departments. Ranger Cowart helped the subject out of his wet clothes and into a sleeping bag for warmth. The subject was checked out by EMS and declined further medical care. Resources were clear at 3:37 p.m.
Town of North Elba, Essex County
Wilderness Rescue: On Jan. 20 at 1:55 p.m., Ray Brook Dispatch received a call from a hiker with a knee injury slowly making his way down Mount Marcy. At 4:30 p.m., Forest Rangers Duchene, Lewis, and Praczkajlo reached the 34-year-old from Massachusetts and brought him to Lieutenant DiCintio at South Meadows Road. Lieutenant DiCintio transported the subject to his vehicle at the Adirondak Loj.
Town of Alabama, Genesee County
Law Enforcement: On Jan. 20, Forest Ranger Lieutenant Kennedy and Rangers Cordell and Miller conducted snowmobile safety checks at Tonawanda Wildlife Management Area. Rangers checked approximately 91 snowmobiles and issued six tickets for unregistered snowmobiles and modified exhaust. The sound produced by snowmobiles operating in New York State must not exceed 73 decibels.
Read past Forest Ranger search and rescue reports here.
Photo of responders to the ice rescue on White Pond provided by DEC.