WATERTOWN, NY — 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 Henderson
Rescue: On June 17 at 9:44 a.m., Forest Ranger Howard Thomes was patrolling Black Pond Wildlife Management Area when he responded to a call from Jefferson County 911 regarding a 59-year-old male from Wilkes Barre, Penn., who had fallen near Black Pond Beach and was in distress. Ranger Thomes located the subject, and a member of his party had already started CPR. Henderson EMS, and Belleville and Ellisburg first responders arrived on scene and transported the subject to a local hospital, where he is recovering.