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 Black Brook
Wilderness Recovery: At 2:04 pm on March 17, DEC’s Ray Brook Dispatch received a call through Franklin County 911 reporting a hiker in distress on Catamount Mountain in Clinton County. The caller reported that a 52-year-old male from Glen Falls had collapsed while taking a break and was unresponsive. Ray Brook Dispatch provided assistance to the caller and dispatched Forest Rangers to the scene at Taylor Pond Wild Forest. Under the direction of Ranger Lt. Gary Friedrich, Rangers Glen Bronson, David Russell, and Peter Evans responded with snowmobiles for rapid access to the patient. Au Sable Fork’s Ambulance Service was also on scene with the New York State Police. Rangers made their way to the group by 2:30 pm. After an hour of CPR, the male hiker was pronounced deceased.
Town of Elizabethtown
Wilderness Recovery: On March 15 at 12:22 pm, DEC’s Ray Brook Dispatch received a request for assistance for a 51-year-old male hiker from Plattsburgh. The subject was in medical distress at the top of Blueberry Hill Trail. At the time of the call, Essex County 911 dispatch advised they would also be sending Elizabethtown Ambulance. Under Lt. Julie Harjung’s authority, Rangers Robbi Mecus, Logan Quinn, and James Giglinto were dispatched to the hiker’s location. As Rangers and EMS were responding, the subject went into cardiac arrest. Rangers and EMS performed CPR and employed an automated external defibrillator, but the subject remained unresponsive. New York State Police Bureau of Criminal Investigation personnel arrived on scene and assisted with recovery efforts. The hiker was transferred to the Essex County Coroner.
Town of Keene
Wilderness Search: On March 16 at 3:25 pm, DEC’s Ray Brook Dispatch received a transferred call from Essex County 911 reporting three hikers from the Clifton Park area were lost on Giant Mountain. The three hikers – ages 21, 21, and 19 – required assistance to relocate the trail. Under Lt. Gary Friedrich’s authority, Rangers Robert Praczkajlo and Kevin Burns were dispatched to the Giant Mountain Wilderness to search for the hikers. At 5:10 pm, voice contact was made with the subjects. By 5:52 pm, Rangers located the subjects in good but tired condition. The hikers were wearing sneakers and were unprepared for the backcountry hike. The subjects slowly made their way back to the trailhead and the incident concluded at 6:15 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.