The Salvation Army aids in missing person search in New York

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After four days in the wilderness, the lost hiker was found alive by first responders and taken to the hospital.

The Salvation Army responded last week to support the Margaretville Fire Station in Delaware County on a missing person search in the Northern Catskill Mountain Preserve in New York.

Emergency Disaster Services (EDS) teams from Sidney, Walton, and Empire Divisional Headquarters responded to provide feeding and hydration services to over 50 first responders from the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation’s Forest Ranger Division, Environmental Conservation Police, New York State Police, New York State Division of Homeland Security and Emergency Services, Delaware County Office of Emergency Services and 14 area fire departments within four hours of being requested on August 3.

“We continue to be proud to serve side by side with our partners conducting this search in some of the densest forest land I have ever seen,” said Mike Schwartz, Empire Divisional EDS Director. “Our first responders are working in very challenging conditions to find this missing hiker. We are honored to be here to take care of those who take care of all of us.”

As the search area continued through August 4–5 and the number of first responders expanded, additional resources were brought in from across the division, including disaster response units from Rochester, Canandaigua and Oneonta.

At the peak of the response, the EDS teams provided food and water in addition to lunch and dinner to over 300 first responders from New York, Connecticut and New Jersey.

On Saturday August 5, at approximately 1:05 pm, the missing hiker was located in good health after four days in the woods and reunited with his family. The Salvation Army provided a celebratory dinner for all first responders.

“We are beyond happy to have this search come to a successful conclusion,” Schwartz said. “It speaks volumes to the hard work of all first responders here and to the selfless service of our own teams that we have been able to return this hiker to his family today. [It was] a very proud moment for all of us when the word came out that he was found walking out of the woods under his own power.”

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