New York State Department of Environmental Conservation Forest Rangers respond to search and rescue incidents in the Adirondacks. 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 from the Adirondack backcountry.
What follows is a report, prepared by DEC, of recent missions carried out by Forest Rangers in the Adirondacks.
Town of Arietta
Lost Hiker: At 1:20 pm on Jan. 7, DEC’s Central Dispatch received a call requesting assistance for a possible injured snowshoer in Piseco. The caller shared coordinates to the subject’s location via a GPS tracking map. Forest Ranger John Ploss responded and located the subject at 2:06 pm. The 54-year-old male from Newtown, Penn., was returned to his vehicle at 4:25 pm and declined further treatment. The subject had planned a two-day hike from Piseco to Spruce Lake but was slower than anticipated progress due to snowfall and a hip injury sustained from snowshoeing.
Town of Long Lake
Snowmobile Accident: At 3 am on Jan. 8, the Raquette Lake Fire Department was called to respond to a snowmobile accident at Browns Tract, part of the Pigeon Lake Wilderness Area. The local Forest Ranger was first on scene to administer emergency medical care. A second Forest Ranger notified DEC’s Central Dispatch and responded to assist State Police with the investigation at 3:36 am. The snowmobiler had been the last in line of a group traveling west through Browns Tract to return to a local camp. When the group realized the last sled did not arrive, they doubled back, found the injured man, and called Hamilton County 911. The snowmobiler missed a turn and was ejected 150 feet over a 15-foot-deep embankment, without hitting a tree. The 54-year-old male was transported by Raquette Lake EMS, assisted by EMTs from Old Forge, and taken to a Utica hospital with head trauma injuries. DEC units were clear of the scene at 5:45 a.m.
Town of Jay
Rescue: On Jan. 21 at 6:25 pm, Ray Brook Dispatch received a call from a subject advising that a 16-year-old female from Wilmington hiking Ebenezer Mountain had fallen 15 feet off a trail and possibly fractured her femur. The subject was immobile and stuck on a small ledge. Under Lt. Charles Platt’s authority, five Rangers responded to Ebenezer Mountain for a rope rescue and a carry out. Rangers reached the subject at 7:55 pm and packaged her for a carry out, which began at 9:30 pm. Three low-angle rope belays were used to lower her down the trail. Rangers reached the bottom of the trail by 10:30 pm and the subject was released to Ausable Forks EMS for transfer and initial evaluation. Initial assessment by EMS showed the subject had possible fractures in the hip, femur, and ankle. The subject was then loaded in the ambulance and taken to CVPH Medical Center in Plattsburgh for treatment. The incident concluded at 10:54 pm.
Town of Newcomb
Rescue: On Jan. 22 at 11:11 am, DEC’s Ray Brook Dispatch received a transfer call from Essex County 911. The caller reported that a member of his rabbit hunting party at the Opalescent Hunting Club had gone into seizures, lost consciousness, and required medical assistance immediately. Forest Rangers Delbert Jeffery and Jamison Martin responded to assist. The first Forest Ranger arrived at the parking area at 11:19 am and assisted with the now conscious 38-year-old male. The subject was turned over to the Newcomb Rescue Squad at 12:45 pm for transport to the Glens Falls hospital.
Town of Keene
Rescue: On Jan. 28 at 5:01 p.m., DEC’s Ray Brook Dispatch received a call from a passerby concerning a 40-year-old female near the AuSable Lake Dam who had an ankle injury. The subject was mobile but had difficulty walking. Her hiking companion called shortly after and stated that the subject was no longer mobile and needed help. One Forest Ranger responded to the Adirondack Mountain Reserve (AMR) and utilized AMR’s snowmobile. The Ranger located the woman and assisted her back to her car. The subject stated she would seek further medical attention on her own.
Be Prepared: Properly prepare and plan before entering the backcountry. Visit DEC’s Hiking Safety webpage and Adirondack Trail Information webpage for more information about where you intend to travel. The Adirondack Almanack reports weekly Outdoor Conditions each Thursday afternoon.