Forest Ranger searches & rescues

The following are the state Department of Environmental Conservation statewide forest ranger highlights for the week of Feb. 24 to March 1.

Town of Camillus

Onondaga County

Wilderness Rescue: On Feb. 24 at 4:50 p.m., the Camillus Police Department contacted forest ranger Mike Chappell regarding a wildland search for a 35-year-old man who reportedly left a supervised facility that borders the Camillus Forest Unique Area. Chappell responded and coordinated with the Camillus Police Department and Onondaga County Sheriff’s Deputies to search the area for the missing man.

While Chappell searched one of the hiking areas in the forest, the sheriff dispatched a helicopter to the search location.

At 6:12 p.m., Chappell located the man and turned him over to WAVES ambulance personnel for evaluation.

Town of Shandaken

Ulster County

Wilderness Rescue: On Feb. 28 at 3 p.m., a 39-year-old man from Brooklyn left Woodland Valley Campground and headed to Giant Ledge when he decided to stay the night because it was getting dark.

At 6 a.m. the next morning, a hiker exited his tent to watch the sunrise when he noticed the man, who was extremely cold and had no feeling in his hands or feet. The hiker and his hiking partner put the man in their tent and covered him with their down sleeping bag before calling 911.

Ulster County 911 dispatched the Big Indian Fire Department and Shandaken paramedics to the scene. The Fire Department requested forest ranger assistance and forest ranger Erik Stratton arrived on scene at approximately 9 a.m., hiking in with six firefighters. Stratton continued to warm the man while forest ranger Richard Franke, Jr. made his way with an additional firefighter and a UTV from the Claryville Fire Department. At approximately 11 a.m., the man warmed up enough to walk to the awaiting UTV, which transported him to an ambulance. EMS evaluated the man at the scene, but he refused further medical treatment and was released.

Town of Tuxedo

Orange County

Wildfire: On Feb. 28 at noon, Orange County 911 contacted DEC’s Central dispatch requesting forest ranger assistance to a wildfire in the town of Tuxedo. The fire started along the Thruway, bordering Harriman State Park.

Several local fire departments and New York State Parks personnel also responded. Erratic winds spread the fire to nine acres before it was contained.

Town of Long Lake

Hamilton County

Wilderness Rescue: On Feb. 29 at 9:55 a.m., Hamilton County 911 contacted DEC’s Ray Brook dispatch requesting assistance for a 56-year-old woman from Penfield who had been in a snowmobile accident on Brown Tract Road at the Long Lake Inlet line.

Hamilton County obtained information about the accident from a Spot Locator Beacon Activation and passed it on to forest ranger Gary Miller. Miller administered first aid and packaged up the woman for transport by sled to the Raquette Lake Highway Garage where she was transferred to Inlet Ambulance for transport to an area hospital for treatment.

The incident concluded at 11 a.m.

By Kerry Minor

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