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 North Elba
At 11:57 am on March 18, Ray Brook Dispatch was transferred a call from Essex County 911 reporting a hiker with upper arm injury on McKenzie Mountain in the McKenzie Mountain Wilderness Area. The 17-year-old male hiker injured his arm while descending a steep, icy portion of the trail back to the trailhead. Six Forest Rangers were dispatched to the scene and responded to the injured party by way of the Jackrabbit Trail off Whiteface Inn Road. At 1:09 pm, Rangers reached the hiker, stabilized his arm, and proceeded to carry the subject and his friend off the mountain and back to the trailhead. At 3:50 pm, Forest Rangers and the two hikers were at the trailhead and released to the Lake Placid Ambulance Service for transport to the Lake Placid Hospital for further treatment.
Town of Brighton
Mountain Search: On March 16 at 9:50 pm, Ray Brook Dispatch received a request for assistance to locate a 20-year-old man from Lake Placid who was overdue from skiing St. Regis Mountain. Under Lt. Charles Platt’s authority, Rangers were dispatched to Paul Smith’s College at a location near the base of the mountain. Rangers arrived on scene at 10:30 pm, and interviewed the missing person’s skiing partner. Additional Rangers were requested at 11 pm. Two Rangers tracked the subject in the woods and one remained on the roadside. The subject made his way out to the road at 11:35 pm, was picked up by a Ranger patrol, and reunited with his skiing partner. The incident concluded at 11:42 pm.
Town of Brighton
Rescue: On March 17 at 9:48 pm, Ray Brook Dispatch received a request for assistance from a 61-year-old man from Saranac Lake who had become stranded after a snowmobile accident in a small brook. The man was not wearing proper gear for the weather conditions. Under Lt. Charles Platt’s authority, Rangers were dispatched to retrieve the subject. Rangers determined the man’s location through 911 coordinates, which put him on a trail two miles from the road. One Ranger hiked in while another followed on a snowmobile. The subject was located at 10:46 am, and was suffering multiple health issues, including a pre-existing condition that required a call to Saranac Lake Rescue Squad. He was brought to the road, loaded in a waiting ambulance, and taken to AMC Saranac Lake for treatment by 11:20 am.
Town of Indian Lake
Rescue: On March 16 at 2:48 pm, Central Dispatch received a call from Hamilton County 911 advising of a snowmobile accident on the Blue Mountain Trail at Indian Lake. Under Lt. Julie Harjung’s authority, Rangers responded and assisted in packaging and transporting the 62-year-old injured woman from the scene. DEC Environmental Conservation Police Officers (ECOs) assisted, along with Indian Lake EMS. The subject was transported by Indian Lake EMS rescue snowmobile to a waiting ambulance, but due to the severity of her injuries, she was then airlifted from the Indian Lake DEC helispot to Albany Medical Center. Forest Rangers and ECOs worked together to remove the injured subject’s snowmobile from the trail system. The incident concluded by 4:45 pm. The cause of the incident remains under investigation.
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.