DEC Statewide Forest Rangers highlight recent rescue missions

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New York State Department of Environmental Conservation has highlighted recent rescue missions.

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 across New York State.

While disclosing this in a statement on Tuesday November 10, 2020, DEC Commissioner Basil Seggos stated that Forest Rangers have been on the front lines for even longer, “protecting New York’s wildlife, natural resources, residents, and visitors for more than a century.”

“The State’s brave Forest Rangers have a vast knowledge of first aid, land navigation, and technical rescue techniques that are critical to the success of their missions in remote wilderness areas, rugged mountainous peaks, white water rivers, frozen lakes, and forested areas statewide.

“We are proud of the work our Forest Rangers perform and look forward to another 50 years and beyond of highly trained service,” Seggos said.

According to the statement, on Nov. 7 at 12:30 p.m., Forest Ranger Quinn contacted DEC’s Ray Brook Dispatch advising he was commencing a search for a lost hunter on Northwoods Club Road.

The statement reports that Forest Rangers Kabrehl and Sabo were also contacted and responded to assist. At 3:34 p.m., Forest Rangers located the 19-year-old hunter from Wilton based on coordinates he provided, which placed him on the southwest side of Pine Mountain in the Hudson Gorge Wilderness Area.

“The hunter and Rangers proceeded out of the woods and at 5:30 p.m. The hunter was reunited with his hunting party and Forest Rangers cleared the scene,” the statement reads.

It was also reported that on Nov. 7 at 3:35 p.m., DEC’s Ray Brook Dispatch received a call from a hiking party on Bear Den Mountain reporting one of the hikers had sustained an ankle injury.

Forest Rangers Sabo, Lewis, and Evans responded to assist. Upon locating the 29-year-old hiker from Framingham, Massachusetts, Forest Ranger Evans splinted the injured ankle and slowly began to escort the woman down to the base of the mountain where a six-wheeler was waiting to bring her out to the trailhead.

At 8:55 p.m., the hiker was out of the woods and being transported to a local hospital for additional medical treatment and all Rangers cleared the scene.

On Nov. 7 at 6:00 p.m., Forest Ranger Rogers was contacted by Erie County Sheriff’s Deputies about two lost hikers on the north side of the Zoar Valley Multiple Use Area.

Once on scene, Ranger Rogers was accompanied by a Deputy to the coordinates provided by Erie County Dispatch, locating the lost hikers from Corfu.

Based upon their location, Ranger Rogers hiked the subjects out to the Button Road access instead of returning to the Holcomb Pond trailhead.

The accompanying Deputy contacted his counterparts on the roadside and directed them go to that location so the hikers could be transported back to their vehicle.

On Nov. 8 at 6:55 a.m., Central Dispatch received a call concerning a fire on Ossian State Forest.

Forest Rangers Cordell and Dormer responded and worked with local volunteer fire departments to establish a control line around the fire.

By 5:00 p.m., there was a control line around the 48-acre fire and all resources had cleared the scene. On Nov. 9, Rangers returned to the fire to continue suppression efforts and investigate its cause, which is currently unknown.

Another rescue mission was on Nov. 8 at 9:25 a.m. Essex County 911 transferred a call to DEC’s Ray Brook Dispatch reporting an injured hiker on the trail for Wright Peak.

The caller stated that a member of his party slipped and fell on a rock causing her to dislocate her right shoulder near the Wright and Algonquin junction. Forest Rangers LaPierre, Evans, and Lewis responded. Once on scene, Forest Ranger LaPierre assessed the injury and concluded it could not be reduced.

Ranger LaPierre requested Advance Life Support (ALS) assistance for pain management. Lake Placid Rescue staged an ambulance at the Adirondack Loj while an ALS provider was transported into the woods by Ranger Lewis using an UTV. Ranger Evans followed them on a six-wheel ATV.

Once with the 39-year-old hiker from Winhall, Vermont, the ALS provider administered pain medication and Rangers escorted the subject back to the ATV where she was given a ride out to a waiting ambulance.

On Nov. 8 at 7:47 p.m., Herkimer County 911 transferred a call to DEC’s Ray Brook Dispatch requesting Forest Ranger assistance for a lost hunter in the area of Twitchell Lake.

The hunter was last seen at 2:00 p.m. on the northern end of the lake in shorts and a t-shirt, carrying a backpack. A concerned friend went out to look for the man but only found the subject’s walkie talkie.

The 52-year-old hunter from Honeoye Falls was located at 12:40 a.m. by Rangers Savarie and Candee. Rangers walked the hunter out and released him to his friends at their hunting camp at 3:00 a.m.

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