Wednesday, June 26, 2019

Recent Adirondack Wilderness Rescue Missions

forest ranger logoNew 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 North Elba
Wilderness Rescue: On June 22 at 9:54 am, DEC’s Ray Brook Dispatch received a request for assistance from a 51-year-old female hiker from Montreal, Quebec, with an ankle injury. Forest Rangers Robert Praczkajlo and Kevin Burns and Assistant Forest Ranger Jonathan Leff responded to assist the hiker. Leff located the subject near the Phelps Mountain junction on the Van Hoevenberg Trail and advised she was being helped by another hiking party. The hiker was escorted by Leff to the Marcy Dam Outpost and transported by a Forest Ranger UTV to the Adirondak Loj. The subject advised she would seek medical assistance on her own and the incident concluded at 12:30 pm.

Clinton County

Town of Altona
Wildland Fire: At 7:47 pm on June 23, Clinton County 911 contacted DEC’s Ray Brook Dispatch reporting a wildland fire on Jerusalem Road in Altona. Altona, Ellenburgh Depot, West Chazy, and Mooers fire departments worked on the fire all day and requested handing over remaining suppression operations to Rangers. Ranger Thomas Gliddi responded and reported the fire perimeter to be 0.7 acre. The fire originated at a logging site in a fuel bed of logging slash, thick duff, and sawdust. Forest Rangers Gliddi and Jared Booth remained on scene until the fire was declared out.

Lewis County

Town of Greig
Wilderness Rescue: On June 21 at 12:30 pm, Forest Rangers were contacted by Lewis County 911 to respond to the Otter Creek Horse Trails in the Independence River Wild Forest after a 48-year-old female from Pulaski was thrown from her horse. Forest Rangers Lt. Joel Nowalk and Luke Evans responded to the scene and, with the help of a nearby DEC forester, located the subject. Utilizing six-wheelers, Rangers transported two EMTs from Lewis County Search and Rescue (LCSR) to the scene. After an evaluation, it was determined the rider suffered a fracture to her left arm. The subject was stabilized and packaged for transportation to a waiting LCSR Ambulance for treatment at Lewis County General Hospital. The incident concluded by 3 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.

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2 Responses

  1. Vanessa says:

    Do folks on this forum recommend that hikers always carry SAM splints? I will be getting one but have never seen it used.

    • Boreas says:


      I don’t know much about them, but I do know that with an ankle injury, removal of the shoe may not be a good idea due to rapid swelling. I guess it depends if you are planning on extracting yourself from the woods or waiting for aid as they certainly could be a hindrance to locomotion. Odds are if you carry one for yourself you will never need it unless you are prone to certain types of injuries. But if you tend to hike with a group, it would be a good idea for someone in the group to have one or two.