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CASART History

Volunteers solicited for initial organization through Press Releases - Adirondack Express 2/18/03, Hamilton County News 3/4/03 & Posters

50+ people signed up for the team by 5/1/03

First Basic Wildland Search Skills training 5/31/03 – 35 people attended & certified

First Organizational meeting 6/26/03

  • Mission & By-Laws approved

  • Officers & Directors elected

  • Committees formed

  • Milestones:

    • Mission Established – Provide a search and rescue team to assist and aid NYS DEC Forest Rangers in search and rescue operations.

    • Incorporated in NYS as a not-for-profit corporation 9/4/03.

    • Purchased initial liability insurance with coverage beginning on 10/01/03.

    • Applied for recognition with the IRS on 11/21/03 and received confirmation on 01/07/04 that they have made an advance ruling determining CASART to be a publicly supported organization exempt from federal income tax under section 501(c)(3).

    • Joined the New York State Federation of Search & Rescue Teams (NYSFEDSAR) 01/24/04.

    • Logo designed by Doug Groh & Patch created 01/13/04. 100 patches paid for by a donation from the Herkimer County Spirit Committee.

    • Second Basic Wildland Search Skills training 5/08/04 – 29 people attended & certified

    • Tracking training held at Vanderkamp camp in Cleveland, NY 06/04-06/04. Administered by nationally recognized veteran of the US Border Patrol, Joel Hardin. Mike Caltigirone, Roy Reehil and Rob Winter attended from CASART.

    • 6 GPS units paid for by a $900 grant from the Adirondack Bank Charity Golf Classic 06/14/04.

    • 24 blaze orange vests for Field Members 06/25/04.

    • Class on Clothing, Equipment & Map & Compass presented to Cub Scouts in Old Forge 10/19/04.

    • Crew Boss Course held on 11/06-07/04 hosted by CASART in Inlet. 22 people attended, 11 CASART and the others were from Team 5-1, LASAR and Oswego County Pioneer SAR.

    • Trailer donated by the Power Authority of the State of New York 08/16/04, restoration and retrofit for use as a field ICP completed by volunteer members on 05/13/06 and a generator was donated by Wal-Mart to provide electric power in the field.

    • "Introduction the Human Tracking for Search and Rescue
      Volunteers" was held on 09/19/04, taught by Roy Reehil, 5 CASART members attended.

    • 6 Hand held radios and 6 Chest Packs purchased 03/05.

    • $3,500 Grant received from the State of New York Community Projects Fund to reimburse CASART for the purchase of GPS Receivers, Hand Held Radios and Chest Packs 06/05.

    • Purchase of a base station radio has added to the capabilities of the trailer for remote communications.

    • Purchase of a computer and projector and donation of a printer and scanner has enabled the team to print maps of search areas and make copies in the field and present PowerPoint based training to the team and the "Hiking Safely" seminar to the public.

    • "Hiking Safely" seminar, a community service program developed by CASART to educate the public about proper outdoor clothing, basic survival equipment, nutrition, hydration, the dangers of hyperthermia & hypothermia, land navigation skills with map & compass, special things about the Adirondacks & good environmental practices. Offered 06/12/04, 07/17/04 & 08/14/04 through ADIRONDACK EXPLORATIONS and offered 07/07/06 and 08/04/06 at the Old Forge Library, 07/14/06 at Indian Lake and 07/20/06 at the Woodcraft Camp near Rondaxe Lake.

    • Generous financial support from individual and business donations, contracts with the Towns of Arietta, Indian Lake, Inlet, Long Lake & Webb & grants have made CASART a viable community service organization.

ACTIVATIONS (Linked to CASART Reports if available)

  • First activation 10/11/03 -  73 year old Alzheimer’s victim Search & Rescue successful Bald (Rondaxe) Mountain, Herkimer County, subject rescued.

  • Second activation 11/8/03 - 40 year old Search & Rescue successful Camillus Forest Unique Area, Onondaga County, subject rescued.

  • Third activation 11/30/03 - 42 year old Search & Recovery Rock Lake area north of Stillwater Reservoir, Herkimer County, subject found deceased.

  • Fourth activation 05/30/04 - 8 year old &  5 year old Search & Rescue Rensselaer County, subjects rescued & CASART deactivated just prior to deployment.

  • Fifth activation 09/07-10/04 - 74 year old male Search & Rescue West Sand Lake in Rensselaer County, search terminated 09/11/04. Considered a criminal matter.

  • Sixth activation 10/20/04 - 52 year old female Search & Rescue Walton, Delaware County, subject not found.

  • Seventh activation 11/18/04 - 20 year old male Search & Rescue Canton, St. Lawrence County, subject found deceased.

  • Eighth activation 01/11/05 -  63 year old male Search & Rescue Hudson Highlands State Park, Putnam County, subject not found. Found a month later deceased.

  • Ninth activation 10/24/05 - 68 year old male Search & Rescue Norway, NY, Herkimer County, searched six (6) days, subject found deceased, possible criminal matter.

  • Tenth activation 11/29/05 - 41 year old female Search & Rescue Vischer Ferry, NY, Saratoga County, searched two (2) days, subject found hospitalized in North Adams Regional Hospital, Massachusetts.

  • Eleventh activation 12/03/05 - 80 year old male Search & Rescue Wells, NY, Hamilton County, searched one (1) morning subject found deceased just prior to CASART arrival.

  • Twelfth activation 01/26/06 – 61 year old male Search & Rescue Weedsport , NY, Cayuga County, searched one (1) day, subject not found. Found a week later deceased.

  • Thirteenth activation 03/31/06 – 82 year old male Search & Rescue Star Lake, NY St. Lawrence County, searched one (1) morning, subject found alive just prior to CASART arrival.

  • Fourteenth activation 04/26/06 – 45 year old male Search & Rescue Indian Lake, NY, Hamilton County, searched five (5) days, subject not found.

  • Fifteenth activation 06/17/06 – 45 year old male Search & Rescue Moose River Plains NY, Hamilton County, searched eight (8) days, subject not found.

  • Sixteenth activation 06/30/06 – 70 year old female with Alzheimer’s Search & Rescue Plessis, NY Jefferson County, searched seven (7) days, subject not found.

  • Seventeenth activation 10/17/06 – 45 year old male Search & Rescue, North Wilmurt, NY, Herkimer County, searched one (1) morning subject walked out on his own.

  • Eighteenth activation 05/17/07 -- 87 year old male Search & Rescue, DeKalb Junction, NY, St. Lawrence County, searched one (1) morning, subject found deceased.

  • Nineteenth activation 06/06/07 -- 57 year old female Search & Rescue, Raquette Lake, NY Hamilton County, searched two (2) days, subject found deceased.

  • Twentieth activation Search & Recovery 01/06-07/08 & 01/12/08 Williams 47 year old male coyote hunting near Waterville, NY, Oneida County, searched three days, subject not found. Found deceased 04/29/08, gunshot wound, suicide.

  • Twenty-first activation Search & Recovery 10/09/08 Morey 91 year old male scouting hunting locations near Norway, NY, Herkimer County, searched one (1) morning, subject found deceased just prior to CASART arrival.

  • Twenty-second activation Search 10/17-20 08 & 10/25-26/08 -- Gillingham 71 year old male thought to be hiking on the Rock River trail near Indian Lake, NY, Hamilton County, searched six days, subject not found.

  • Twenty-third activation Search & Rescue 11/09-10/08 -- Lawler 76 year old male hunting in the vicinity of Woodhull Lake near Otter Lake, NY, Oneida County, searched 2 days, subject found in stable condition.

  • Twenty-fourth activation Search & Rescue 03/15/10 -- Risenberg 50 year old male and Lyon 49 year old male hiking on Blackhead Mountain in the vicinity of Hensonville, NY, Green County, searched 2 days, 1st subject found in fair condition with hypothermia and the 2nd subject found deceased.

  • Twenty-fifth activation Search & Recovery 5/25/10 -- Shirleen Lavine. Police found Shirleen Lavine's car on Picketville Road in Parishville. Several CASART members responded. subject was found deceased along a trail.

  • Twenty-sixth activation Search & Recovery 09/12-14/10 – McCartin 75 year old male with early signs of dementia disappeared from his camp in the vicinity of Rodham, NY, Jefferson County, searched three (3) days, subject found deceased in heavy undergrouth, 200 yards from his camp.

  • Twenty-seventh activation Search & Rescue 10/11/10 – Arnold 67 year old male with diabetes and COPD, hunting with friends, ATV became stuck in mud and he took shelter in a generator shack overnight in the vicinity of Beartown State Park, Lewis County, NY. Searched one (1) day, subject found in the woods in good condition.

  • Twenty-eighth activation Search & Recovery 11/03/10 – Brennan 20 year old male, ATV and clothing found in the vicinity of Shandaken, Ulster County, NY in the Catskills. Searched one (1) day, subject found deceased.

  • Twenty-ninth activation Search 11/13-19/10 – Hamilton 92 year old male hiker lost in the Allegany State Park, Cattaraugus County, NY. Searched seven (7) days, subject was never found.

  • Thirtieth-activation Search & Recovery 11/14-16/10 – Levett 79 year old male lost hunter in the Town of Montague, Lewis County, NY. Searched three (3) days, subject was found by helicopter on the edge of a swamp, deceased.

  • Thirty-first activation Search & Rescue 11/18/10 – Foster 76 year old female Alzheimer’s patient wandered away from her home, Elizabethtown Essex County, NY. Searched one (1) day, subject found in good condition.

  • Thirty-second activation Search 11/24-27/10 – Wamsganz 22 year old male disappeared in the vicinity of the Adirondack Loj between Lake Placid and Keene, Essex County, NY. Searched four (4) days, subject never located.

  • Thirty-third activation Search & Recovery 11/24-26/10 – Watson 20 year old female disappeared in the vicinity of Moyers Corners Clay, Onondaga County, NY. Searched three (3) days, subject located deceased. Criminal matter, boyfriend charged with her murder.

  • Thirty-fourth activation Search & Recovery 3/30/11 – Young 44 year old female hiker, left facebook posts and emails that indicated she was going for a hike. Her car was found near Limekiln Lake. 1 day search. Ms. Young’s remains were found by Rangers.

  • Thirty-fifth activation Cold Case Search 5/22/11 – NYS Trooper Cold Case. No clues were discovered.

  • Thirty-sixth activation Search & Recovery 11/12/11 – Gregory 46 white male. Gregory crashed his car in Scriba after leaving a bowling alley early Saturday morning. He was last seen about 2 a.m. Saturday morning. He remains were discovered by a volunteer searcher.

  • Thirty-seventh activation Search & Recovery 11/25/11 – Knight 64 year old male. Became lost while hunting. Crews searched wooded areas that he was known to hunt around his home. He was located mid-afternoon by a landowner, deceased.

  • Thirty-eighth activation Search & Rescue 11/27/11 –  Dousharm 17 year old male. Left his home around 1:00 Saturday afternoon and was seen walking into the woods behind his house. He was located by a sheriff's deputy around 6:00AM Sunday morning.

  • Thirty-ninth activation Search & Recovery 11/29-30/11 – Beede 63 year old male. Became lost while hunting. Crews searched wooded areas that he was known to hunt around his truck. He was located mid-afternoon by grid search deceased.

  • Fortieth activation Search 3/14 & 18/12 – Gillis, 18 year old male. Gillis was last seen around the Franklin-St. Lawrence county line between Tupper Lake and Piercefield at about 2 a.m. Sunday. He wandered away from a social gathering at a private residence. He is still missing.

  • Forty-first activation Search & Recovery 5/13/12 – Cale, 18 year old male. Cale walked away from a camping outing with family and friends near the Hudson River and has not been seen since. Cale has a history of seizures. His body was discovered in the Hudson River 5/17/13.

  • Forty-second activation Search 8/12/12 – Unknown Male 45. Cold case police search with little detail provided. No clues found.

  • Forty-third activation Search & Recovery 5/24/13 – Search for a plane crash victim. Volunteer Angel Flight crash in Ephratah killed two Friday night, and a search was made for the missing pilot scattered across a one mile debris field. The pilot's body was found on 6/17/13.

  • Forty-fourth activation Search 1/11 & 12/14 – McKay, 31 year old male. Witnesses said McKay looked prepared to go hiking in the backcountry. He had left an ominous message for his father in Australia leaving him all his effects.

Copyright, CASART, Inc.