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 Schroon
Wildland Rescue: At 5:27 pm on July 9, DEC Ray Brook Dispatch received a call transferred from Essex County 911 regarding a 66-year-old male hiker from Cohoes who injured his knee after getting lost near Big Pond off Hoffman Road near Schroon Lake. Rangers Jacob DesLauriers and Arthur Perryman responded and located the hiker off the trail at the coordinates provided by dispatch. The hiker was evaluated, treated, and assisted out by Rangers to an awaiting ATV. After being transported to the trailhead, the subject declined further medical care.
Town of Keene
Wildland Rescue: At 12:33 pm on July 10, DEC’s Ray Brook Dispatch received a call from a Boy Scout leader reporting that a 14-year-old group member had sustained an ankle injury while attempting to hike the Marcy Brook Trail. The group splinted the subject’s injury. The DEC Marcy Dam caretaker located the boy on the trail and began assisting him out of the woods. Forest Ranger James Giglinto responded to Marcy Dam with an off-road utility vehicle. Ranger Giglinto and the caretaker assisted the subject and one group leader down to the UTV, where they were then transported back to the High Peaks Information Center. All units were back in service by 5:30 pm.
Town of Newcomb
Wildland Rescue: At 12:54 pm on July 12, DEC’s Ray Brook Dispatch received a radio transmission requesting assistance for a 74-year-old male from Tinmouth, Vermont, who was fatigued and dizzy at Camp Santanoni. The subject, who has medical concerns, took a horse drawn wagon into Camp Santanoni. Upon arrival he complained of being light headed and nauseous. Forest Ranger Benjamin Baldwin responded to the camp, picked up the subject, and transported him to Newcomb EMS for assistance. The incident concluded at 2:45 pm.
Town of Newcomb
Wildland Rescue: At 8:30 pm on July 14, Assistant Forest Ranger Brendan Jackson reported to Ray Brook Dispatch that he encountered a hiking group near Lake Colden with a 17-year-old male hiker who had fallen ill during a hike in the High Peaks Wilderness. The hiker was unable to keep down any liquids or solids and needed assistance back to the trailhead. Jackson began hiking the group of four out to Upper Works while Forest Ranger Russell Martin came in from Upper Works to intercept them. The group was from a camp in the Speculator area and had been dropped off earlier in the week. Ray Brook Dispatch made contact with the camp to arrange for the group to be picked up upon reaching the Upper Works. By 11:22 pm, the ill hiker’s condition had improved and the hikers were turned over to the camp driver and nurse.
Town of Brighton
Wildland Search: At 7 pm on July 5, a citizen discovered the vehicle of missing person 48-year-old Bruce Waite off Slush Pond Road. Waite is associated with an “Attempt To Locate” bulletin by the North Country Crime Analysis Center and New York State Police. A command post was set up at the Paul Smith Gabriel’s Volunteer Fire Department, and over the next eight days, Forest Rangers organized a large-scale search of the surrounding areas of Debar Mountain Wild Forest. During this time, a total of 405 personnel spent 6,400 hours searching for Waite. In total, the efforts included 27 Forest Rangers, Assistant Forest Rangers, Environmental Conservation Police Officers, State Police, Paul Smith Gabriel’s Fire Department, Franklin County 911 services, Search and Rescue of the Northern Adirondacks, and State Department of Corrections Response Team. State Police Aviation, Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs), and K-9 resources were also deployed. Searchers encountered difficult terrain, thick vegetation, and temperatures that exceeded 90 degrees. Despite covering more than 2,000 acres of forest preserve and recovering a few articles of clothing, search efforts were unsuccessful in locating him. Search efforts were concluded on Friday, July 13. State Police will continue the investigation and operations will resume if new information is found.
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.