ALBANY, 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 Parish
Wildland Search: On Sept. 26 at approximately 11 p.m., New York State Police out of Fulton requested Forest Ranger assistance in a search for a 49-year-old woman who had last been seen at her residence. On the morning of Sept. 27, Rangers Scott Jackson, Jeremy Oldroyd, and Mike Chappell convened at the State Police barracks in Pulaski and organized a search mission with NYSP and members of the New York State Federation of Search and Rescue Teams. Ranger Jackson requested three Forest Rangers and Howard Thomes, Greg Hoag, and Dave Cornell were dispatched. At approximately 9 a.m., the woman was located in good health in a barn within the search area. NYSP investigated the circumstances and all Forest Rangers were demobilized from the incident.