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For Release: Monday, February 1, 2016

DEC Statewide Forest Ranger Search and Rescue Highlights

Forest Ranger Actions for 1/25 - 1/31/16

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:

Warren County

Town of Lake George
Lake George Wild Forest
Injured hiker:
On January 27, 2016 at 11:19 a.m., Warren County 911 transferred a call to DEC Ray Brook Dispatch from a 56-year-old woman from Queensbury, NY with a lower leg injury on Prospect Mountain. The woman managed to get to the first intersection of Prospect Mountain Road and the trail with help from her hiking companion. DEC Forest Rangers responded and reached the woman at 11:47 a.m. They administered First Aid and transported the pair back to their vehicle where the woman said she would seek medical attention on her own. The incident concluded at 12:15 p.m. The Lake George Fire Department and Rescue squad assisted in the rescue.

Essex County

Town of Keene
High Peaks Wilderness
Distressed hiker:
On January 31, 2016 at 1:18 p.m., DEC Ray Brook Dispatch received a radio transmission from the Adirondack Mountain Club's Johns Brook Lodge (JBL) staff requesting assistance for a 55-year-old man from Sanbornton, NH. The man was at Camp Peggy O'Brien and unable to move. Trail conditions in the area prohibited motorized access to the injured hiker. JBL staff and members of the hiking party brought the man by litter to the DEC Johns Brook interior outpost at 2:30 p.m. New York State Police Aviation responded with one DEC Forest Ranger to the outpost. They transported the man via helicopter to Marcy Field to the awaiting Keene Valley Rescue Squad, which took him by ambulance to the Elizabethtown Community Hospital for treatment. The incident concluded at 3:15 p.m.

Greene County

Town of Lexington
Hunter-West Kill Wilderness
Injured Hiker:
On January 31, 2016, at 1:30 p.m., DEC dispatch received a call requesting assistance for an injured hiker near the summit of Sherrill Mountain. The 71-year-old woman from the town of Marbletown (Ulster County) sustained an ankle injury after sliding down an icy section of trail between Sherrill and North Dome mountains. Five DEC Forest Rangers and two volunteers from the town of Lexington fire department hiked with rescue equipment over three miles of trail-less terrain to reach the injured hiker near the summit at 5:45 p.m. Rangers provided first aid and stabilized the hiker's injured left ankle. The Rangers and volunteers then carried the hiker out using an improvised backpack carry and an improvised litter to the parking area. Due to the very rough terrain, the rescue took more than seven hours and concluded at 1:15 a.m. The patient declined further medical treatment at the scene and stated she would seek additional medical care at a later time.

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

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