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 Keene
Wilderness Rescue: On August 12 at 12:11 pm, DEC’s Ray Brook Dispatch received a call from a man reporting that his wife had a non-weight bearing ankle injury on the side of Little Porter Mountain. The injury occurred when she and two others went off the hiking trail. Coordinates provided by Essex County 911 placed the hikers just over a half-mile from where they started their hike in Keene Valley. Forest Rangers Robbi Mecus, Kevin Burns, James Giglinto, Thomas Gliddi, David Russel, Benjamin Baldwin, Peter Evans, and James Waters responded. Forest Rangers were at the scene at 1 pm, and a request for assistance was made by Lieutenant Christopher Kostoss for New York State Police Aviation assistance. At 3:40 pm, Forest Rangers performed a hoist operation using a harness to get the 55-year-old injured hiker from Fairfax, Virginia, into the helicopter. She was then brought to a local hospital for treatment. All Forest Rangers were clear of the scene at 4:40 pm.
Town of Harrietstown
Wilderness Rescue: On August 17 at 8:41 am, Franklin County 911 transferred a call to DEC’s Ray Brook Dispatch advising of a 64-year-old female hiker from Tupper Lake who fell and lacerated her head while descending Ampersand Mountain. The hiker advised that she would continue descending the mountain but requested Rangers meet her on the trail. Forest Rangers Robert Zurek and Peter Evans responded to assist. Forest Rangers located the hiker at 9:39 am and administered first aid to her head laceration. The subject was escorted out to the trailhead where she advised she would seek medical attention on her own at a local hospital. The incident concluded at 10:15 am.
Town of Fort Ann
Wilderness Rescue: On August 18 at 8:44 pm, Washington County 911 transferred a call to DEC’s Ray Brook Dispatch for a couple on Shelving Rock Mountain unable to make it back down the mountain due to darkness. Dispatch advised the pair not to use the light function on their phone in order to conserve their already low battery power. With the coordinates provided by Washington County 911, Dispatch placed the two hikers near the summit of Shelving Rock. Forest Ranger Evan Donegan responded to assist the hikers and made contact with the couple at 11:41 pm, at which point he supplied them with lights and assisted them back down to the trailhead. The party made it back to the trailhead by 12:32 am, at which point Forest Ranger Donegan was cleared from the scene.
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.