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For Release: Monday, March 16, 2015

Adirondack Forest Ranger Search and Rescue Highlights: 3/9-3/15/15

New York State Department of Environmental Conservation Forest Rangers respond to search and rescue incidents statewide. 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 backcountry.

"DEC Forest Rangers' knowledge of first aid, land navigation and technical rescue techniques are often critical to the success of their missions," said DEC Commissioner Joe Martens. "Search and rescue missions often require Rangers to function in remote wilderness areas from rugged mountainous peaks to white-water rivers, and through vast forest areas from spruce-fir thicket to open hardwoods."

Recent missions carried out by DEC Forest Rangers in the Adirondacks include:

Essex County
Giant Mountain Wilderness
Town of Keene
Distressed hiker:
On March 11, 2015 at 3:20 p.m., DEC Ray Brook Dispatch received a report from Essex County 911 of a 61-year-old man from Townsend, VT in medical distress on Baxter Mountain. DEC Forest Rangers responded to the Route 9N trailhead of Baxter Mountain and arrived on scene at 3:44 p.m. The Rangers, along with the Keene and Keene Valley Emergency Rescue Squads, reached the hiker at 4:30 p.m. They administered first aid and prepared him for transport. Once back at the trailhead, crews transferred the man to a Keene Ambulance and he was taken to Elizabethtown Community Hospital for treatment, then to Champlain Valley Physicians Hospital in Plattsburg for additional treatment. The incident concluded at 5:30 p.m.

High Peaks Wilderness
Town of North Elba
Injured skier:
On March 15, 2015 at 1:20 p.m., Essex County 911 transferred a call to DEC Ray Brook Dispatch from an injured skier on the Klondike Trail. The 57-year-old man from Webster, NY stated he had fallen and injured his leg, leaving him unable to continue down the trail. DEC instructed the man to dress in extra layers and stay in place to wait for assistance. A DEC Forest Ranger immediately responded by snowmobile from the Adirondak Loj and reached the skier at 2:00 p.m. After splinting his leg, crews transported the man by rescue sled to South Meadow to the awaiting Lake Placid Ambulance Rescue Squad. The ambulance took him to Adirondack Medical Center in Lake Placid at 3:35 p.m.

Franklin County
Tupper Lake Northeast Conservation Easement Tract
Town of Tupper Lake
Injured snowmobiler
: On March 14, 2015 at 6:07 p.m., DEC Ray Brook Dispatch was alerted to a snowmobile accident on Conservation Easement Land at Pitchfork Pond in the Town of Tupper Lake. Members of the snowmobiling party were in the process of transporting the injured 31-year-old man from Tupper Lake out to the road. A DEC Forest Ranger responded and reached the scene just as the group was approaching Pitchfork Pond Road. A Tupper Lake Ambulance transported the man to Adirondack Medical Center in Saranac Lake for treatment. A DEC Forest Ranger and the New York State Police remained on scene to obtain accident information. The Bureau of Environmental Conservation Investigation was notified due to an injury on Conservation Easement Land. The incident concluded at 7:22 p.m.

Be sure to properly prepare and plan before entering the backcountry. Visit DEC's Hiking Safety and Adirondack Trail Information web for more information.

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