County tables dive-search team deal

JOHNSTOWN – A non-profit, all-volunteer Saratoga County group is willing to provide Fulton County virtually-free underwater and land search and rescue services, but Fulton County lawmakers want more information.

The Board of Supervisors on Monday tabled a proposed resolution to have the county contract with the Tri-State Emergency Team in Waterford.

Fulton County Sheriff Thomas Lorey recently informed the board’s Public Safety Committee the group – operated through donations – offered underwater and “wild land” search and rescue services for $1 per year. The Fulton County Sheriff’s Department’s dive team was disbanded some time ago.

The proposed contract with Tri-State Emergency Team would have been effective immediately and run through Dec. 31.

A proposed resolution was put on the floor and Gloversville 2nd Ward Supervisor Frank Lauria Jr. commented that Fulton County is already served by Edinburg-based Search Team 5-1.

“I would prefer they would be called first,” Lauria said.

He also asked if “anyone checked the credentials” of the Tri-State team, noting state police is also known to assist with such services.

Search Team 5-1’s website says it has “over the years” aided state Department of Environmental Conservation rangers “in dozens of searches, providing assistance in numerous positive outcome results.” The team services Fulton, Montgomery, Schoharie, Schenectady, Saratoga, and Hamilton counties, as well as others as needed, the site says.

According to the Tri-State Emergency Team’s website, its 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.”

Lauria made a motion to table the contract and it was approved by the board.

Lorey couldn’t be reached for comment this week.

Michael Anich covers Johnstown and Fulton County news. He can be reached at