Volunteer dive team may assist county

JOHNSTOWN – The Fulton County Sheriff’s Department may be replacing its dive team with a volunteer unit from Saratoga County.

Capt. David Curtis reminded the Board of Supervisors’ Public Safety Committee on Monday at the County Office Building that his department’s dive team was disbanded some time ago.

But Curtis – speaking for Sheriff Thomas Lorey, who was unable to attend – said the sheriff indicated representatives of the Tri-State Emergency Team based in Waterford have offered coverage. He said the all-volunteer, non-profit group has offered to provide Fulton County underwater and “wild land” search and rescue services for $1 per year.

“They’re basically done through donations,” Curtis said.

Curtis said Lorey indicated the Saratoga County team will provide its own insurance amounting to $1 million. He said team services are used by other emergency responder agencies in the Capital District.

According to the group’s website, the Tri-State Emergency Team’s mission is “to provide the citizens of the village and town of Waterford, N.Y., the greater Capital Region, Eastern New York State, Vermont and Western Massachusetts with properly trained and equipped rescuers in land-based Search and Rescue operations and underwater rescues and recoveries.”

Johnstown 4th Ward Supervisor William Waldron, committee chairman, asked if Fulton County will receive a proof of insurance from the dive group.

County Administrative Officer Jon Stead said county Attorney Jason Brott already looked at a proposed legal agreement between the organization and the county.

The committee approved a proposed board resolution authorizing a $1 annual contract with the Tri-State Emergency Team. The full board will consider the resolution at its April 14 meeting.