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For Release: Monday, March 19, 2018

DEC Statewide Forest Ranger Highlights

Forest Ranger Actions for 3/12 - 3/18/18

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 2017, DEC Forest Rangers conducted 346 search and rescue missions, extinguished 55 wildfires that burned a total of 191 acres, participated in 29 prescribed fires that burned and rejuvenated 564 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 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 Indian Lake
Hamilton County
Rescue:
On March 16 at 2:48 p.m., Central Dispatch received a call from Hamilton County 911 advising of a snowmobile accident on the Blue Mountain Trail at Indian Lake. Under Lt. Julie Harjung's authority, Rangers responded and assisted in packaging and transporting the 62-year-old injured woman from the scene. DEC Environmental Conservation Police Officers (ECOs) assisted, along with Indian Lake EMS. The subject was transported by Indian Lake EMS rescue snowmobile to a waiting ambulance, but due to the severity of her injuries, she was then airlifted from the Indian Lake DEC helispot to Albany Medical Center. Forest Rangers and ECOs worked together to remove the injured subject's snowmobile from the trail system. The incident concluded by 4:45 p.m. The cause of the incident remains under investigation.

Town of Edinburg
Saratoga County
Rescue:
On March 16 at 6:25 p.m., Ray Brook Dispatch received a call from Ranger Andrew Lewis advising he was responding to a snowmobile accident on South Shore Road in the town of Edinburg. The subject was two miles in on North 40 Trailhead and had suffered a possible fracture to his right leg. Rangers responded and met up with Edinburg EMS. They reached the man at 7:11 p.m. By 7:20 p.m., the subject was packaged and brought out to the road. The man was placed in a waiting ambulance and transported to Saratoga Hospital for treatment. The incident concluded at 8:30 p.m. The cause of the incident remains under investigation.

Town of Brighton
Franklin County
Mountain Search:
On March 16 at 9:50 p.m., Ray Brook Dispatch received a request for assistance to locate a 20-year-old man from Lake Placid who was overdue from skiing St. Regis Mountain. Under Lt. Charles Platt's authority, Rangers were dispatched to Paul Smith's College at a location near the base of the mountain. Rangers arrived on scene at 10:30 p.m., and interviewed the missing person's skiing partner. Additional Rangers were requested at 11 p.m. Two Rangers tracked the subject in the woods and one remained on the roadside. The subject made his way out to the road at 11:35 p.m., was picked up by a Ranger patrol, and reunited with his skiing partner. The incident concluded at 11:42 p.m.

City of Beacon
Dutchess County
Mountain Rescue:
On March 17 at approximately 4:10 p.m., Ranger Lincoln Hanno responded to a Dutchess County 911 call regarding an injured hiker in the Hudson Highlands State Park Preserve near Mount Beacon. Upon his arrival at the parking lot, the Ranger joined the search effort with Beacon Volunteer Ambulance Corps and New York State Park Police. The hiker complained of an injured knee and stated he could not make it down the mountain. The hiking party included nine individuals from the Bronx who were hiking an eight-mile loop on the mountain. Due to heavy snow and the group's inexperience, they could not complete the trek. The injured hiker was escorted down Pocket Road and arrived at the trailhead by 8 p.m. The rest of the party was guided down by Beacon Volunteer Ambulance Corps via the Beacon Mountain main trail. All subjects were evaluated, refused medical treatment at the trailhead, and released by approximately 9 p.m.

Town of Brighton
Franklin County
Rescue
: On March 17 at 9:48 p.m., Ray Brook Dispatch received a request for assistance from a 61-year-old man from Saranac Lake who had become stranded after a snowmobile accident in a small brook. The man was not wearing proper gear for the weather conditions. Under Lt. Charles Platt's authority, Rangers were dispatched to retrieve the subject. Rangers determined the man's location through 911 coordinates, which put him on a trail two miles from the road. One Ranger hiked in while another followed on a snowmobile. The subject was located at 10:46 a.m., and was suffering multiple health issues, including a pre-existing condition that required a call to Saranac Lake Rescue Squad. He was brought to the road, loaded in a waiting ambulance, and taken to AMC Saranac Lake for treatment by 11:20 a.m.

Town of North Elba
Essex County
Mountain Rescue:
At 11:57 a.m. on March 18, Ray Brook Dispatch was transferred a call from Essex County 911 reporting a hiker with upper arm injury on McKenzie Mountain in the McKenzie Mountain Wilderness Area. The 17-year-old male hiker injured his arm while descending a steep, icy portion of the trail back to the trailhead. Six Forest Rangers were dispatched to the scene and responded to the injured party by way of the Jackrabbit Trail off Whiteface Inn Road. At 1:09 p.m., Rangers reached the hiker, stabilized his arm, and proceeded to carry the subject and his friend off the mountain and back to the trailhead. At 3:50 p.m., Forest Rangers and the two hikers were at the trailhead and released to the Lake Placid Ambulance Service for transport to the Lake Placid Hospital for further treatment.

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

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