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
Wilderness Search: On Jan. 8, a 26-year-old Rochester woman called DEC’s Ray Brook Dispatch to request help descending Mount Marcy in the Eastern Adirondacks High Peaks Wilderness Area. She was hiking alone and lost the marked trail during a snow squall that delivered white-out conditions. Essex County 911 identified the subject’s cell phone coordinates and Forest Ranger Jim Giglinto instructed her on how to get back on the trail. Due to weather conditions, Ranger Kevin Burns hiked to the woman’s location to assist her off the mountain. Within three hours, Burns located the hiker, assessed her condition, and began escorting her out. She was back at the Adirondak Loj parking lot without any injuries within seven hours of her call.
Town of Wells
Two Snowmobile Accident Rescues: On Jan. 12, Forest Rangers David Kallen and Andrew Lewis along with Environmental Conservation Police Officer (ECO) Peter Buswell assisted Hamilton County Sheriff’s Deputies to locate and evacuate a 54-year-old Schenectady woman involved in a snowmobile accident in the Speculator Tree Farm easement lands. After preparing the injured woman for evacuation by snowmobile sled, the Rangers brought her to a waiting ambulance for further treatment and transport to Nathan Littauer Hospital in Gloversville. As the three officers cleared this incident, they responded to another accident four miles away. In this case, a 14- and 41-year-old snowmobilers from Hadley collided, causing both operators to be ejected and injured. Rangers and Speculator EMS personnel carried the injured youth to an ambulance while the older subject was evacuated by an all-terrain vehicle. Both snowmobilers were transported to Nathan Littauer Hospital with non-life-threatening injuries.
St. Lawrence County
Town of Colton
Assist to Snowmobiler: On Jan. 9, St. Lawrence County 911 transferred a call to DEC’s Ray Brook Dispatch regarding a stranded snowmobiler in the town of Colton. The 55-year-old Childwold woman was snowmobiling alone on a county trail and was unable to extract her machine from deep snow. Cell phone location coordinates were not available from her initial call. As her phone was about to lose power, Dispatch texted her and directed her to re-contact 911 so her location could be determined. This information allowed Forest Ranger Adam Baldwin to find her within 10 minutes of entering the trail with his snowmobile. With his assistance, the snowmobiler continued her ride to her home without injury or further need of assistance.
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.