Posts Tagged ‘Search and Rescue’

Wednesday, February 21, 2018

High Peaks Safety Program Going Live Online

adirondack mountain rescue logoAdirondack Mountain Rescue will present a High Peaks Safety Program live online on Tuesday, February 27, 2018 at 7 pm.

The number of search and rescue incident in the Adirondacks is increasing, straining the limited resources of the NYS Forest Rangers and other responders. This program will address common challenges and safety concerns in the High Peaks Region.

» Continue Reading.


Tuesday, January 23, 2018

Lost in Boreas Country: Herbert Short, 1930

In early November 1930, a hunting party in the Boreas River area split up to do what Adirondack hunters so often do: execute a deer drive. Among those taking part were Lew Buck, Leo Adams, Edward White, Murray Short, and Murray’s brother Herbert. Herb was a corrections officer who had recently been promoted and transferred to Auburn Prison from Clinton Prison in Dannemora. It was Dannemora that provided the link between him and the other men: Buck was the village’s former postmaster, White was a retired Clinton keeper, and his close friend Adams still worked there as a guard.

Concern mounted at day’s end when the men reassembled and Herbert was a no-show. But he was a very experienced woodsman, and the entire party was aware that a storm was moving into the area, so in that sense he was prepared for anything. His companions surmised he may have been turned around while trying to get back to camp before the snow fell. At that point, the explanations they considered carried reassurances that everything was OK, or soon would be. » Continue Reading.


Tuesday, January 23, 2018

SAR Scholarship Recalls Hiking Death of Hua Davis

search and rescue logoSearch and Rescue of the Northern Adirondacks (SARNAK), an all-volunteer non-profit based in Saranac Lake, has announced the inaugural Hua Davis Wilderness Scholarship in memory of an unprepared hiker who died in the High Peaks region of the Adirondack Park.

On Friday, March 4th, 2016, Hua Davis, an avid hiker from Wilmington, Delaware, set out to scale MacNaughton Mountain in the High Peaks Wilderness. She made it to the summit of the mountain, but died from hypothermia due to exposure later that same day. » Continue Reading.


Tuesday, October 17, 2017

Recent Adirondack Forest Ranger Missions

DEC Forest RangerNew York State Department of Environmental Conservation Forest Rangers responded to 15 search and rescue incidents in the past two weeks 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. » Continue Reading.


Monday, September 11, 2017

Search On For Missing High Peaks Hiker Alex Stevens

Alex Stevens, Hiker Missing Sept 2017New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) Forest Rangers, working with New York State Police and the Hopewell, New Jersey Police Department, are searching the Western High Peaks Wilderness for Alex Stevens, 28, of Hopewell.

DEC is asking anyone who may have seen Stevens or has information about his whereabouts to contact the New York State Police at 518-897-2000.

DEC Ray Brook Dispatch received a call on at 1:25 p.m., on Sunday, September 10, from a family member reporting Alex Stevens overdue from a hike into the southern High Peaks Wilderness in the town of Newcomb, Essex County. » Continue Reading.


Wednesday, July 26, 2017

Search And Rescue Presentation At Adirondack History Museum July 27th

Adirondack History MuseumThe Adirondack History Museum will continue its summer lecture series on Thursday, July 27 with “Search and Rescue in the Mountains” by presenter Ron Konowitz.

Konowitz, who is well known as an avid backcountry skier, is also the wilderness rescue coordinator for the Keene and Keene Valley fire departments. » Continue Reading.


Wednesday, July 19, 2017

NYS Forest Ranger Ranks Stagnant While Workload Rises

Forest Ranger Rob Praczkajlo covers the district just east of the High Peaks Wilderness, namely the towns of Jay, Elizabethtown, and part of North Hudson. Due to the high rate of search and rescue operations in the adjacent High Peaks, he is just as likely to be found there as he is patrolling his own district.

The High Peaks district had more than 100 emergency incidents in 2015 and they do not occur in a vacuum. They are not handled exclusively by the half dozen rangers stationed there. Rangers from all parts of the Adirondacks, and the Forest Preserve they protect, are affected by the drain from so many incidents. The following chronicles one week in July for Ranger Praczkajlo. » Continue Reading.


Tuesday, July 11, 2017

Two Weeks In The Adirondacks: 3 Dead; 15 Search and Rescues; 1 Remains Missing

DEC Forest RangerNew 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. » Continue Reading.


Wednesday, June 21, 2017

Rangers Find Boy Missing Overnight Near Schroon Lake

Forest Rangers found a 10-year-old Sunday morning in good health after he went missing overnight in the Pharaoh Lake Wilderness.

Forest Ranger James Waters said he found the boy (who forest rangers wouldn’t identify because of his age) about a mile off the Short Swing Trail.

Waters had been on the way to meet up with another forest ranger near Gooseneck Pond when he took a break atop a boulder field. While taking a break, Waters yelled out, hoping the boy would hear him, which is standard during search-and-rescue missions. » Continue Reading.


Thursday, April 6, 2017

Ida Blanchard: Heroic Switchboard Operator

Fire! … Please send help — there’s been a car accident! … We found our son in the pool … please help us! … We need an ambulance … I think my husband’s having a heart attack! … My wife can’t breathe and she’s turning blue! Many of us have experienced terrifying moments like those at one time or another. In modern times, amazingly quick responses are the norm from fire and EMS personnel directed by information received at county emergency service centers.

Until several decades ago, those positions were nearly all filled by men. But for much of the twentieth century, most rural areas lacked coordination of services. A vital cog in emergency situations back then was the local switchboard operator, who was nearly always a woman. In almost every instance where policemen and/or firemen were needed, the telephone operator was key to obtaining a good outcome. She was the de facto emergency services coordinator of yesteryear.

Her importance during times of crisis was often overlooked, with most of the glory going to policemen and firemen capturing criminals, rescuing victims, and saving lives. But emergency personnel and telephone-company executives were aware of the vital role operators played on a daily basis. » Continue Reading.


Wednesday, March 22, 2017

DEC: 2016 Was Safest Year On Record for Hunters

The State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) has announced that the 2016 hunting season in New York had only 13 hunting-related shooting incidents, the lowest number on record since DEC began compiling hunting-related shooting statistics in 1958.

Of the 13 hunting-related shooting incidents in 2016, seven incidents were self-inflicted and six incidents involved more than one person. In 2015, there were 23 incidents. In 1966, there were 166 incidents, 13 of which were fatal. » Continue Reading.


Sunday, February 26, 2017

ECO and Forest Ranger Recruits Starting Basic Police Training

Forest Ranger and ECO recruits marching at the academyIn mid-February, the Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) opened the 21st Basic School for Uniformed Officers, the 28-week training academy in Pulaski that prepares recruits for positions as Environmental Conservation Officers (ECOs) and Forest Rangers.

The academy began with 34 ECO and 11 Ranger candidates. The recruits are from 28 of New York’s 62 counties and range in age from 22 to 44 years old. Graduation is tentatively scheduled for August 25. » Continue Reading.


Tuesday, December 13, 2016

Two Hikers Found Alive After Two Days In High Peaks

UPDATE: DEC has released video of the summit helicopter rescue here.

Two hikers who had been missing in the High Peaks since Sunday have been found alive.

Blake Alois, 20, and Madison Popolizio, 19, both of Niskayuna, a suburban town west of Albany, were found less than a quarter mile from the summit of Algonquin Peak at 11 a.m. Tuesday.

The two were located by Forest Ranger Scott Van Laer and Lake Placid climber Don Mellor, who were among dozens of professional searchers looking for the pair. A state police helicopter transported them to Adirondack Medical Center in Saranac Lake, where they were treated for cold-related injuries.

» Continue Reading.


Tuesday, November 29, 2016

Recent Adirondack Forest Ranger Rescues

DEC Forest RangerNew 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. » Continue Reading.


Tuesday, November 8, 2016

Dr. Brad VanDiver’s Cliffside Brush with Death

longspeak2005wikiResearching Dr. Bradford VanDiver’s life and telling his full story isn’t possible in this brief format, but if you read last week’s account, you’re at least privy to the amazing and varied highlights. There remains one stunning and frightening event that he failed to mention during published interviews about various achievements and key moments in his past.

While plumbing for details that might have occurred prior to his professional career, I encountered reference to VanDiver’s participation with the National Speleological Society in exploring several new caves in the Howe’s Cavern area of Schoharie County in 1948. Some of the underground sites there involved drops of more than 100 feet, for which the spelunkers’ group called upon Brad VanDiver and his close friend, Ernest Ackerly, to handle the rigging of ropes, ladders, and other safety equipment. They also joined in the exploration of new passages. » Continue Reading.


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