Corps of Engineers Rangers Honored for Lifesaving Rescue

U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Buffalo District
Published Dec. 6, 2023
Updated: Dec. 6, 2023
A U.S. Army Officer pins a blue medal on a U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Ranger atop a concrete dam with snow falling.

U.S. Army Lt. Col. Colby Krug, commander of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Buffalo District, presents USACE Park Ranger Steve Winslow, manager of the Mount Morris Dam, with the Army Civilian Service Achievement Medal atop the dam in Mount Morris, N..Y., Dec. 6, 2023. Winslow received the medal in recognition for a lifesaving rescue of a lost hiker in the Mount Morris Dam Recreation Area in October 2023. (U.S. Army photo by Avery Schneider)

A U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Ranger stands atop a concrete dam with snow falling.

U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Park Ranger Steve Winslow, manager of the Mount Morris Dam, wears the Army Civilian Service Achievement Medal atop the dam in Mount Morris, N..Y., Dec. 6, 2023. Winslow received the medal in recognition for a lifesaving rescue of a lost hiker in the Mount Morris Dam Recreation Area in October 2023. (U.S. Army photo by Avery Schneider)

MOUNT MORRIS, N.Y. — Two U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Park Rangers were awarded the Army Civilian Service Achievement Medal for a lifesaving rescue of an elderly hiker on New York’s Finger Lakes Trail.

What happened: A 71-year-old hiker wandered off the trail in the 4,000-acre Mount Morris Recreation Area in early October and called the Mount Morris Dam for help.

  • USACE Park Rangers Steve Winslow and Juliana Smith worked with NYS Park Police to home in on the hiker’s location and comb the trail from opposite directions.
  • Winslow and Smith found the hiker before rain mixed with dipping overnight temperatures led to a bad situation.
  • The hiker was returned to a trail head and made it home safe. Read more about the rescue here.

What Rangers do: Mounting a rescue is just one of the many tasks USACE Rangers do year-round.

  • Rangers operate and maintain the dam, which has reduced the risk of flooding in the City of Rochester and lower Genesee River valley for more than 70 years, preventing an estimated more than $4 billion in damage.
  • From spring through fall, rangers manage the William B. Hoyt II Visitor Center and provide walking tours of the dam, including a look inside the massive structure.
  • Rangers provide visitor assistance under Title 36 of the Code of Federal Regulations for people visiting the dam and recreation area and neighboring Letchworth State Park, including enforcement, security response, rescues, and recoveries.