HUNTER — Twelve New York State Forest Rangers were involved in the rescue of an injured hiker in Hunter, state Department of Environmental Conservation spokesman Jeff Wernick said Thursday.
The injured hiker, who was not immediately identified by authorities, is a 65-year-old man from Connecticut.
At about 3:44 p.m., Greene County 911 contacted Ranger Katherine Fox about an injured hiker on the west side of Sugarloaf Mountain.
Fox and Ranger Seamus Peterson headed to Mink Hollow Road to access the trail.
Peterson established communication with the injured man while Fox began hiking to where the man was located, Wernick said.
The hiker had injured his ankle on the trail, Wernick said. Fox assessed the injury and determined that additional Rangers were needed to carry the man out of the woods.
The hike out would be approximately one mile in icy conditions, Wernick said.
Ten Rangers responded and secured the man in hydrowrap to keep him warm on a rescue sled. Technical rope rigging was used to bring the subject down the difficult terrain, Wernick said.
Nearly eight hours later, at 11:30 p.m., the man was placed on a waiting Hunter Ambulance and brought to Columbia Memorial Health.
When forest rangers are not rescuing hikers, they are continually training on the latest rescue techniques, so that when they are called to an incident, they will have the experience to rescue the hiker.
Rangers recently held a training session on a pond in Athens, Wernick said.
On Feb. 6, Rangers John Gullen, Steven Jackson and Tyler Mitchell conducted flat ice rescue training for seven Rangers on Green Lake.
Rangers used preach, reach and throw techniques to pull a victim out of the water and practiced using equipment like reach poles and throw bags, Wernick said.
“These skills and techniques help Rangers save people who fall into icy waters. Like many other aspects of search and rescue, flat ice rescue is a skill that needs to be practiced to remain sharp,” Wernick said.
If a person needs a Forest Ranger, whether it’s for a search and rescue, to report a wildfire, or to report illegal activity on state lands and easements, they may call 833-NYS-RANGERS. If a person needs urgent assistance, they should call 911.
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