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For Release: Tuesday, February 5, 2019

DEC Statewide Forest Ranger Highlights

Forest Ranger Actions for 1/28 - 2/3/19

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 2018, DEC Forest Rangers conducted 346 search and rescue missions, extinguished 105 wildfires that burned a total of 845 acres, participated in 24 prescribed fires that burned and rejuvenated 610 acres, and worked on cases that resulted in 2,354 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 Mexico
Oswego County
On Feb. 2 at approximately 10:30 a.m., Forest Ranger Jackson and Environmental Conservation Police Officer Dorrett responded to a snowmobile accident reported by Oswego County Dispatch. The subject had reportedly struck a tree. Ranger Jackson responded to the scene on a snowmobile and utilized its emergency lighting to protect the accident scene from oncoming recreational snowmobile traffic. The Ranger assisted Mexico Fire Department and McFee Ambulance personnel with placing the conscious subject on a backboard and litter. The patient was then transported to the road by fire and ambulance personnel and brought to the hospital.

Town of Hunter
Greene County
On Feb. 2 at approximately 5:15 p.m., DEC Central Dispatch received a report of an injured backcountry skier who sustained an unstable lower leg injury after skiing a steep section of the Devils Path on the Hunter West-Kill Wilderness Area. Rangers Bills, Dawson, DiCintio, Fox, McCartney, Seeley, O'Connor, and Slade responded to the Notch Lake Trailhead off County Route 214. The Rangers hiked nearly a mile up to the patient where several volunteers, Hunter Police Department officers, and a New York State Police officer were already with the patient. While Ranger Dawson administered first aid, Rangers DiCintio and Slade began setting up a steep angle rope system with a hand line for the evacuation. The subject was hypo-wrapped and packaged in a sled by Rangers and volunteers and was subsequently evacuated using a steep angle rope system. The Rangers and volunteers worked through steep, icy conditions with frigid temperatures throughout the night and were able to get the patient out by 1:30 a.m. the next morning. The subject was taken to Columbia Memorial Hospital by Hunter Ambulance.

NYS Forest Rangers evacuate an injured skier rangers evacuate an injured skier with a sled
Rangers Descending Steep Slopes to Evacuate an Injured Skier

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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