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 Johnsburg
Recovery: At 5 pm on Nov. 1, a radio call came in from the DEC trail crew working on the East Sacandaga Trail. The crew had been notified that a man in his late 70s was having a possible cardiac arrest on the Puffer Pond Trail in the Siamese Ponds Wilderness Area. Due to inclement weather, helicopter support was not available. Six Forest Rangers, two trail crew members, and the Indian Lake Fire Department responded to the scene for a carry-out of the ill hiker. At 6:59 pm, the hiker was reported deceased. The carry-out ended at the trailhead at 11 pm. All units were clear of the scene by midnight.
The hiker has been identified as former New York State Education Commissioner Richard P. Mills.
Town of Keene
Rescue: On Nov. 4 at 6:32 pm, DEC Ray Brook Dispatch received a transferred call from Essex County 911. A 24-year-old man stated he was lost near Marcy Dam in the High Peaks Wilderness. The cellphone connection was poor, but dispatch gleaned enough information to send a Ranger toward Marcy Dam. The subject reported he had crossed over a river and was near a blue trail marker. The man had no light source and a low cell phone battery and did not feel comfortable continuing his hike in the dark. One Ranger responded, located the subject at 8:19 pm, and assisted him back to his vehicle. No further assistance was needed.
Town of Schroon
Rescue: On Nov. 5 at 5:46 pm, DEC Ray Brook Dispatch received a call about a 55-year-old male hunter lost near Crane Pond Road in the town of Schroon. Ray Brook Dispatch had the subject contact Essex County 911 directly to obtain and relay coordinates. With this information secured, Ranger Benjamin Baldwin responded to the subject’s reported location. The hunter had started a fire to keep warm and stated he had no injuries. Ranger Baldwin assisted the man back to his hunting party and was clear of the scene at 8:25 pm.
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.