CASART - 1st Activation

Herkimer County, NY 10/11/03

10/10/03 – 4:00p.m. Floyd Storch or subject, identified as a 73 year old male with early stage Alzheimer’s disease, was hiking up Bald (Rondaxe) Mountain in the Town of Webb, Herkimer County, NY with two other members of his family.  The family reported that the subject had stumbled a couple of times and had decided to return to their car parked at the trail head parking lot where he would wait for them.  This was the last know point for the subject.

10/10/03 – 6:00p.m. The family had reported the subject missing to the Town of Webb Police Department and they notified the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation Forest Rangers.

10/10/03 – 7:30p.m. Rangers were on the scene and initiated Type 1 searches along the trail, the Rondaxe Road and other sections of the area around the last know point for the subject.  An Incident Command Post (IC) was established in the parking lot at the Rondaxe Mountain trail head.  The Type 1 searches were continued until about 3:00a.m.  Tow of Webb Police Officers assisted the Rangers in these searches.

10/11/03 – 2:30a.m.    Rangers the Central Adirondack Search And Rescue Team, Inc. (CASART) of the incident and requested that 10 Field Search members and 2 Administrative members of CASART be activated to assist the Rangers in the search and rescue operations and should report to the IC at 8:30a.m..

10/11/03 – 8:00a.m.    The following thirteen (13) CASART members reported: Field Duty - Cullen Doolittle, Dick Lasher, Mary Jane Lasher, Ray Schoeberlein, Bob Van Slyke,  Bob Wheeler, Don Townsend, Sherry Grimm, Corky Risley, Bill Belitz and Doug Groh and Administrative Duty – Lawson Rutherford and Dick Carr.

10/11/03 – 8:30a.m.    Bob Wheeler and Bob Van Slyke were dispatched with a Ranger to conduct a Type 3 grid search in the vicinity of the Vista Trail and Cullen Doolittle, Dick Lasher, Mary Jane Lasher, Ray Schoeberlein, Sherry Grimm, Corky Risley, Bill Belitz and Doug Groh were dispatched under the leadership of Don Townsend as Crew Boss to conduct a Type 3 grid search to the north of the Rondaxe Mountain Trail and west of the Rondaxe Road.

10/11/03 – 12:30p.m.  A hat was spotted, the line was halted and the find was reported via radio to the IC.  The IC confirmed that the hat belonged to the subject and the search was concentrated near the location of the hat.  By 1:20p.m. the subject was spotted from a helicopter where he was standing in a creek just to the north and west of where the CASART searchers were located.  He was transported by helicopter to the Old Forge airport where he was transferred to the Town of Webb Emergency Services ambulance and taken to a Utica hospital.  The subject was reported to be suffering from hypothermia and dehydration with numerous scrapes and scratches, but otherwise was in fairly good condition.

Summary: CASART participants reported that they were elated that the subject was found and rescued in fairly good condition and that they had made a significant contribution in his being found quickly.  The Rangers reported that they were extremely pleased with the response and professional performance of the CASART participants.

To find out more about the team or to get a membership application write to CASART at P.O. Box 143, Inlet, NY 13360, call us at 315-357-4381, visit our web site at, or send email to


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