Rescues by rope, and by helicopter

Recently in the Adirondacks, state forest rangers joined several other agencies in rescuing a woman and her dog who fell off a cliff on the St. Regis River; plus, rangers helped fly a teenage hiker with a heart condition out of the High Peaks Wilderness.

Town of Hopkinton

Rangers responded to a call for help at 1:26 p.m. on Sept. 27 from the St. Regis River, where a woman had fallen off a cliff trying to rescue her dog, and had fallen halfway down. Forest rangers Robert Praczkajlo of Lake Placid and Kevin Burns of Saranac Lake, with assistance from the Franklin County Technical Rescue Team and the Tri-Town Volunteer Rescue Squad, set up a high-angle rope rescue system to get her out and into a waiting ambulance.

Praczkajlo then rappelled down from the top of a cliff and rescued the woman’s dog. The dog was raised with ropes by assisting fire departments from both St. Lawrence and Franklin counties, and turned over to family members. The woman was transported by the Tri-Town Volunteer Rescue Squad to a local hospital.

Town of Keene

At 4:34 p.m. on Sept. 30, rangers received a call from a group of hikers who said an 18-year-old Mechanicville woman in their party with a pre-existing heart condition was fatigued and unable to walk. The rangers learned that her heart condition, if taxed, would cause circulation issues, fatigue and an inability to walk.

Forest rangers Praczkajlo and Robbi Mecus responded to the Adirondack Regional Airport in Lake Clear to be transported by a police helicopter to the woman’s location.

A hoist rescue was performed, and the woman was airlifted to a local hospital for additional medical treatment. The two remaining hikers were supplied with headlamps and continued their hike out to the trailhead.


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