Wow! 1 NYSP Helicopter Airlifts 2 Separate Hikers on the Same Day
It was a busy day for these first responders, but that's why they're there to protect hikers exploring the great outdoors.
911 Dispatch wasn't called just once, but twice recently to help hikers stranded up in Essex County. As a popular hiking spot at any time of the year, there are always rangers and police on stand-by in case of an emergency.
But little did they think they'd get two calls at roughly the same time, on the same day.
The First Call
Forest Ranger assistance was originally called by Ray Brook Dispatch to help an injured hiker near Mount Marcy's summit. Rangers Lewis and Praczkajlo were ready to go, but knew this wasn't a spot they could get to easily alone.
They called in the big guns, New York State Police (NYSP) Pilot Kotronis with his helicopter. This would help the Rangers not only get to the location quicker, but also into spots where it'd be too difficult to rescue a hiker on foot.
When they reached the hiker, she was still in a lot of pain. The 40-year-old from Newark, New York had slipped on ice coming down the summit. She slid about 30-feet before crashing into a rock, fracturing her leg and leaving her stranded.
The Rangers splinted her leg, put her into a harness, and hoisted her into the helicopter. She was then taken to Adirondack Medical Center to be treated for her injuries.
The Second Call
Around the same time they got the first call, Ray Brook Dispatch alerted Rangers Lewis and Praczkajlo of another injured hiker near Saddleback Cliffs. Already with the Rangers, NYSP Pilot Kotronis flew them over to the Town of Keene to where the hiker was.
The 69-year-old from Latham had also slipped on ice and mud, causing him to break his leg and cut his leg badly on a spruce root. To make the story even crazier, the man was guided by Rangers on the phone to an open spot, where he had to crawl across the ground with his broken leg to get there.
Rangers were then lowered down, where they harnessed the man and raised him back into the helicopter. He was also taken to Adirondack Medical Center for his injuries.
Was There A Common Factor?
Though both hikers were wearing microspikes, hiking shoes designed for climbing high mountains, they still lost grip and fell on the summit. You're always recommended to use crampons and an ice axe when hiking snowy or icy trials this time of the year.
The NYS Forest Rangers want to thank the NYSP Aviation team for their help in the rescue. Without them, both rescues would have taken many hours to complete and put the hikers at a higher risk.