On Sept. 23, 2022, at 6:55 p.m., state Environmental Conservation Police Officers Starczek, Howe and Gates alerted Forest Ranger Lieutenant Hoag about an Oneida County Sheriff’s Office search for two lost hikers in the Rome Sand Plains Unique Area. The Sheriff’s Office had coordinates for the lost subjects, so ECOs and Sheriff’s deputies used sirens to try and help guide the subjects out; however, the subjects were stuck in deep swamp conditions.

Hoag, Ranger Bills and Gates navigated through the water and mud and located the group. The hikers kept losing their footwear due to the muddy conditions and, with the thick vegetation, were unlikely to find their way out alone.

The Rangers and ECO helped the 54-year-old from Liverpool and 58-year-old from Cicero to a waiting ambulance at Hogsback Road. Resources were clear by 10 p.m.

By martha

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