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Emergency responders train for mass water rescue

A number of Police Agencies and Fire Rescue teams are actively involved in water rescue training along the Erie Canal.

Posted: Oct 22, 2019 6:05 PM
Updated: Oct 22, 2019 6:25 PM

LITTLE FALLS, N.Y. -- This time of the year is especially dangerous for anyone who falls into the water. Hypothermia occurs when the body cannot generate enough heat to compensate for the warmth it loses, and can quickly become fatal. If you see someone fall into the water, Trooper Donald Will says people should know how to report the incident.

"Who, what, when, where, and why. That’s pretty much the five W's. Who, what, when, where, and why. Where you’re at, what happened, just call 9-1-1 and they’ll take it from there," said Will.

Emergency responders are training along the Erie Canal for a mass water rescue. Flooding is a major cause for water rescues, and the best response times are made when all the agencies involved are able to work together easily.

"The biggest thing I would say is communications among agencies. The different agencies, and how to communicate. How to work together as a cohesive group because some of their safety procedures are different than ours. Communications with the radio’s. Communications among different agencies," he added.

Water rescues are coordinated using radios, cell phones, and even yelling from boat to boat, but technology is making the searching process even quicker. Not all areas are accessible by boat, and that’s where Unmanned Aerial Systems come in. Lt. Ben Bramlage of the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation explains the benefits of using drones. 

"In addition to actually helping speed up the time it takes them to locate them, it also can help them establish what the condition of the victims are, access routes, and other things like that that really save time in terms of getting the victim out of wherever they’re located," said Bramlage.

The water rescue training will continue through Wednesday. 

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