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For Release: Monday, June 26, 2017

DEC Statewide Forest Ranger Highlights

Forest Ranger Actions for 6/19 - 6/25/17

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.

In 2016, DEC Forest Rangers conducted 356 search and rescue missions, extinguished 185 wildfires that burned a total of 4,191 acres, and worked on cases that resulted in nearly 3,000 tickets or arrests.

"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 is 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 Windham
Greene County
Rescue:
On June 22 at approximately 6:30 p.m., DEC Central Dispatch received a call about two lost hikers in Elm Ridge Wild Forest. The male and female hikers, both 74 years old, received assistance from another hiker who helped to get the pair to the main trail. Forest Ranger Christine Nelson responded, signaled for the subjects by whistle, and located the pair on a side trail. Once located, the two hikers were walked out to the Peck Road trailhead in good condition.

Town of Schroon
Essex County
Rescue:
On June 25 at 8:33 a.m., Essex County 911 transferred a call from the wife of an injured man on the summit of Pharaoh Mountain to DEC Ray Brook Dispatch. The injured 29-year-old man slipped and fell on a rock, twisting his ankle. Three Forest Rangers, an Assistant Forest Ranger, and State Police Aviation responded. Due to the remote location and incoming stormy weather, the injured man was hoisted from the summit and taken to the Schroon Lake Airport. Schroon Lake EMS transported him to the hospital.

Town of Lexington
Greene County
Rescue:
On June 25 at 2 p.m., Central Dispatch was contacted by Greene County 911 concerning an injured hiker on West Kill Mountain in Hunter-West Kill Wilderness Area. The hiker was reported to have a lower leg injury. Five Forest Rangers responded along with members of the Lexington and Jewett fire departments. A New York State Police helicopter out of Newburgh was used to conduct a hoist operation. The subject was then transferred to a waiting ambulance and transported to an area hospital.

West Kill Mountain rescue

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

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