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For Release: Monday, November 2, 2015

DEC Expands Forest Ranger Search and Rescue Highlight Statewide

Forest Ranger Actions for 10/26 - 11/1/15

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.

"Across New York, DEC's Forest Rangers' are on the front lines helping people safely enjoy the great outdoors," said Acting DEC Commissioner Basil Seggos. "Their knowledge of first aid, land navigation and technical rescue techniques are critical to the success of their missions which take them from remote wilderness areas, with rugged mountainous peaks to white-water rivers, and throughout our vast forested areas statewide."

Recent missions carried out by DEC Forest Rangers include:

Franklin County
Town of Harrietstown
High Peaks Wilderness

Lost Hunters: On October 24, 2015 at 9:40 p.m., Franklin County 911 transferred a call to DEC Central Dispatch reporting two lost hunters in the Harrietstown area. The 35-year-old man and 29-year-old woman, both from Tupper Lake, became disoriented along the Raquette River while hunting in the Western High Peaks Wilderness area. One of the hunters sent a text message to a friend indicating they were lost and needed help. The friend contacted Franklin County 911, which transferred the call to DEC. Two DEC Forest Rangers responded to the intersection of routes 3 & 30 in the town of Harrietstown, where the hunter's truck was parked. Forest Rangers and a local K9 search and rescue handler entered the area and began the search. Rangers fired off a set of signal shots to help locate the pair. Those attempts failed so the Rangers exited the woods and entered a trail headed towards Trombley's Landing. Rangers fired off another round of signal shots once in that area and the hunters responded back. Rangers located the pair a short time later and escorted them back to their parked vehicle. The incident concluded at 1:30 a.m. the following morning.

Oneida County
Town of Boonville
Popple Pond State Forest
Lost Hunters:
On November 1, 2015 at 7:00 p.m., Oneida County 911 contacted DEC Ray Brook Dispatch requesting assistance in finding two lost hunters. The 39-year-old man and 14-year-old girl, both from Boonville, NY became overcome by darkness after going afield on State land to hunt at 4:00 p.m. The hunters stayed in place and built a fire while waiting for help. A DEC Forest Ranger responded and located the lost hunters at 8:08 p.m. following GPS coordinates from the 911 cell phone call. The Ranger escorted the pair back to their vehicle at 8:24 p.m.

Warren County
Town of Bolton
Lake George Wild Forest
Distressed Hikers:
On November 1, 2015 at 5:19 p.m., Warren County 911 transferred a call to DEC Ray Brook Dispatch from a group of hikers requesting assistance. A 26-year-old woman and two 25-year-old women, all from Albany, NY and a 34-year-old woman and 28-year-old woman both from Brooklyn, NY were hiking Cat Mountain when it became dark and they were unable to continue on the trail. A DEC Forest Ranger responded and located the hikers at 7:25 p.m. The Ranger escorted the group out to the trailhead at 8:25 p.m.

Dutchess County
Fishkill
Mt. Beacon
Injured Hiker:
On October 30, 2015 at about 11:30 a.m. a DEC Forest Ranger responded to Mt. Beacon to assist the Beacon Volunteer Ambulance Corp (BVAC) and the Beacon Fire Department (FD) with a 72-year-old man from Beacon, NY who experienced medical issues while hiking. Two first responders from BVAC determined that the hiker was not stable enough to walk out on his own. The Forest Ranger and two members of the Beacon FD hiked up the trail and met with the BVAC members. They carried the patient out on a litter and an ambulance transported him to St. Luke's of Cornwall for evaluation at approximately 2:00 p.m.

Greene County
Hunter
North South Lake Campground
Lost Hikers:
On October 30, 2015 at 5:45 p.m. DEC Central Dispatch received a call from a 47-year-old man from Ledgewood, NJ who had become lost while hiking at the North South Lake Campground. The man also expressed concern that his wife, who has health issues, might not be able to make it back to their vehicle at the main parking area. The couple managed to hike back to the campground but were still disoriented, fatigued and worried because it was getting dark and their cell phone battery was running low. A DEC Forest Ranger located the hikers at Mary's Glenn Trail head and gave them a ride back to the campground entrance booth at 8:00 p.m.

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

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