Friday, June 15, 2018

Lost, Injured Hikers: Adirondack Forest Ranger Highlights

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.

Essex County

Town of Keene
Wilderness Search: On June 6 at 9:22 pm, Ray Brook Dispatch received a request for assistance in locating two 21-year-old men from Canada who became separated from a hiking group while descending Giant Mountain. Forest Ranger Mark St. Claire arrived on scene at the Chapel Pond entrance to Giant Mountain and hiked to where Giant Mountain Trail meets the Roaring Brook Trail with negative results. At 12:30 am, he requested an additional Ranger. Ranger Robbi Mecus responded and hiked in on the Roaring Brook Falls Trail and looked for the subjects on the cut off trail near the Washbowl. At 1:39 am, Ranger Mecus established voice contact with the hikers near the waterfall. The pair was located in good condition 50 yards off trail. The hikers were then escorted out through the Roaring Brook Falls Trail and reunited with their hiking party at 2:12 am.

Town of North Elba
Wildland Rescue: On June 8 at 6:58 pm, Ray Brook Dispatch received a request for assistance for a 61-year-old female from Cape May, N.J., who fell while hiking Algonquin. The subject reported injuries to two of her extremities. Coordinates provided by 911 placed the subject near McIntyre Falls. Ranger James Giglinto hiked in to assess the subject and reached her at about 9 pm. Additional Rangers were requested for a carry out. After the hiker’s injuries were evaluated and stabilized, she was packaged in a litter and carried to a waiting off-road utility vehicle. From there, she was transported slowly down the mountain to an awaiting Lake Placid Ambulance. The subject was turned over to Lake Placid Ambulance at 12:50 am, and transported to AMC Saranac Lake for treatment.

Town of Wilmington
Wildland Rescue: At 2:41 pm on June 9, Ray Brook Dispatch received a transferred called from Essex County 911 regarding a 50-year-old woman from Endicott who had fallen while hiking with her dogs on the Whiteface trail. The hiker reportedly had fallen and hit the back of her head and briefly lost consciousness. Two Rangers responded and located the subject approximately 200 yards from the trailhead. Rangers evaluated the hiker and assisted her out to the trailhead. The subject was then assessed by Wilmington EMS and declined any further medical treatment. All units were clear at 4:11 pm.

Hamilton County

Town of Long Lake
Wildland Rescue: On June 7 at 8:40 am, Ray Brook Dispatch received a call from a SUNY Cortland hiking group leader with concerns of a hiker the group encountered at the Cold River lean-to #4 on the Northville-Placid Trail. The hiker, a 63-year-old male from Sunderland, Mass., seemed disoriented and distressed. He advised the passing group he would be hiking to Plumley Point that day. Rangers contacted the reporting party and after evaluating the circumstances, agreed the subject needed assistance. Rangers planned to intercept and retrieve the subject. Forest Rangers Jim Waters and Robert Zurek located the hiker at Shattuck Clearing. He was given food and water and escorted out 2.5 miles to the northern boundary of Huntington Forest. Forest Ranger Lt. Brian Dubay met the hiker and Rangers and transported the hiker to a hotel in Ticonderoga near the Amtrak station. The hiker requested no further medical care.

Warren County

Town of Johnsburg
Swiftwater Rescue Training: On June 4 and 5, 30 Forest Rangers and Assistant Forest Rangers from Region 5 participated in a swift water rescue training on the Hudson River in Warren County. Rangers, certified by the American Canoe Association as Level 4 Swift Water Rescue Instructors, led the training. Boating skills, water hydrology and hazards, boat base rescues, swimming rescues, cinches, and pins were all practiced. At the conclusion of the training, the participants were certified as Level 3 Swift Water Rescue Technicians by the American Canoe Association. The training is essential for Forest Rangers to safely respond to the technical challenges encountered during swiftwater rescue missions.

Washington County

Town of Fort Ann
Wildland Rescue: At 1:36 pm on June 7, DEC Ray Brook Dispatch was contacted by Washington County 911 requesting assistance with a 69-year-old female hiker from Cleverdale. The hiker was on Sleeping Beauty Mountain, approximately 1.5 miles from Dacy Clearing with an unstable leg injury that occurred during her descent from the summit. Forest Rangers Anthony Goetke and Jaime Laczko and West Fort Ann Fire Department and EMS personnel responded to assist. After assessing and stabilizing the injured leg, Forest Rangers packaged the hiker into a litter and carried her to the trailhead. She was then transported by EMS to the Glens Falls Hospital for further treatment.

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.

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