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For Release: Monday, January 23, 2017

DEC Statewide Forest Ranger Highlights

Forest Ranger Actions for 1/7 - 1/22

New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) 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 Forest Rangers are on the front lines helping people safely enjoy the great outdoors," said 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:

Town of Arietta
Hamilton County
Lost Hiker:
At 1:20 p.m. on Jan. 7, DEC's Central Dispatch received a call requesting assistance for a possible injured snowshoer in Piseco. The caller shared coordinates to the subject's location via a GPS tracking map. Forest Ranger John Ploss responded and located the subject at 2:06 p.m. The 54-year-old male from Newtown, Penn., was returned to his vehicle at 4:25 p.m. and declined further treatment. The subject had planned a two-day hike from Piseco to Spruce Lake but was slower than anticipated progress due to snowfall and a hip injury sustained from snowshoeing.

Town of Long Lake
Hamilton County
Snowmobile Accident
: At 3 a.m. on Jan. 8, the Raquette Lake Fire Department was called to respond to a snowmobile accident at Browns Tract, part of the Pigeon Lake Wilderness Area. The local Forest Ranger was first on scene to administer emergency medical care. A second Forest Ranger notified DEC's Central Dispatch and responded to assist State Police with the investigation at 3:36 a.m. The snowmobiler had been the last in line of a group traveling west through Browns Tract to return to a local camp. When the group realized the last sled did not arrive, they doubled back, found the injured man, and called Hamilton County 911. The snowmobiler missed a turn and was ejected 150 feet over a 15-foot-deep embankment, without hitting a tree. The 54-year-old male was transported by Raquette Lake EMS, assisted by EMTs from Old Forge, and taken to a Utica hospital with head trauma injuries. DEC units were clear of the scene at 5:45 a.m.

Town of Jay
Essex County
Rescue:
On Jan. 21 at 6:25 p.m., Ray Brook Dispatch received a call from a subject advising that a 16-year-old female from Wilmington hiking Ebenezer Mountain had fallen 15 feet off a trail and possibly fractured her femur. The subject was immobile and stuck on a small ledge. Under Lt. Charles Platt's authority, five Rangers responded to Ebenezer Mountain for a rope rescue and a carry out. Rangers reached the subject at 7:55 p.m. and carefully packaged her for a carry out, which began at 9:30 p.m. Three low-angle rope belays were used to lower her down the trail. Rangers reached the bottom of the trail by 10:30 p.m. and the subject was released to Ausable Forks EMS for transfer and initial evaluation. Initial assessment by EMS showed the subject had possible fractures in the hip, femur, and ankle. The subject was then loaded in the ambulance and taken to CVPH Medical Center in Plattsburgh for treatment. The incident concluded at 10:54 p.m.

Town of Newcomb
Essex County
Rescue:
On Jan. 22 at 11:11 a.m., DEC's Ray Brook Dispatch received a transfer call from Essex County 911. The caller reported that a member of his rabbit hunting party at the Opalescent Hunting Club had gone into seizures, lost consciousness, and required medical assistance immediately. Forest Rangers Delbert Jeffery and Jamison Martin responded to assist. The first Forest Ranger arrived at the parking area at 11:19 a.m. and assisted with the now conscious 38-year-old male. The subject was turned over to the Newcomb Rescue Squad at 12:45 p.m. for transport to the Glens Falls hospital.

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