The ambulance brought him to the Saranac Town Hall, a designated landing area for the helicopter. From there, he was airlifted to Burlington.
Assistance in the rescue operation was provided by four members of the Dannemora Volunteer Fire Department.
In total, 18 firefighters worked to get the teen to safety, Uhler said.
Uhler praised the special skills of some of his team members as critical to the complex operation.
“We have department members who are tech-rescue certified in rope and rescue. Their skills contributed to what I believe will be a good outcome.”
The Saranac Volunteer Fire Department is fully prepared for these types of accidents, Uhler said.
“We do a tremendous amount of training up there and pre-planning for just this type of incident.”
Uhler said the property where the teen fell is owned by New York State Electric and Gas.
The rope swing has been a favorite among locals for “many generations,” the fire chief said.
“I’m 49, and I used to go there when I was a teenager.”
FUN BUT DANGEROUS
The North Country can be both a fun and dangerous place for those who venture into the wilderness, Uhler said.
“The facts are that everybody engages in fun, recreational activities and, at times, it’s dangerous. And some people are more educated about the dangers than others,” Uhler said.
“There have been many drownings in some of the very popular swimming holes this year,” Uhler said of areas in New York, Vermont and New Hampshire.
But the last time Uhler remembers a similar accident happening in High Falls Dam was more than ten years ago.
That summer, a young man fell while he was walking along the top of an 80-foot embankment downriver from the falls, Uhler said.
This year’s flooding and resulting high water levels increase the dangers for those near these bodies of water, he said.
Many rocks and natural material that are usually visible are covered by water, Uhler said.
It’s fortunate that more people have not been injured this season and in other years, he said.
“The North Country, in general, has been really lucky.”
Email Felicia Krieg: firstname.lastname@example.orgTwitter: @FeliciaKrieg