Tuesday, July 29, 2014

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Emergency response agencies participate in search and rescue exercise

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Albany/HV: Emergency response agencies participate in search and rescue exercise
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Orange County participates in a Hudson River emergency response exercise on the West Bank of the Hudson River in the Cornwall area on Saturday. YNN’s Alexandra Weishaupt has details on the search and rescue event.

CORNWALL-ON-HUDSON, N.Y. --“There’s been multiple incidences on the Hudson river in the past years involving overturned boats, missing boats, injuries as well as fatalities,” said Vails Gate Fire Department Chief, Chris Sweeney.

And so the first large scale search and rescue exercise is conducted in Orange County, aimed to test plans and procedures of Marine and shore-based emergency response units.

“This is to prepare for future incidences, to build on communication skills as well as operation skills,” said Sweeney.

Agencies and organizations worked together to respond to a simulated boating accident on the Hudson River.

“This type of scenario is an excellent way for all of these responders to learn, to practice their skills, and for us to identify where enhancements can be made,” said Commissioner of the Orange County Department Of Emergency Services, Walter Koury.

And officials say its exercises like this that are extremely vital to not only enhancing those skills, but facilitating inter-county and inter-agency mutual aid.

“It’s very important that our local, county, state and federal resources can be appropriately deployed to ensure that we can respond as rapidly and effectively as possible in the event there’s an emergency,” said Congresswoman Nan Hayworth, (R) 19th Congressional District.

And helping them to do so, partial funding from both federal and state homeland security grants was used to conduct the day's events.

“We're very pleased that the state is able to support the exercise in Dutchess and can continue to build out the programs that are so sorely needed to ensure the most effective and efficient response to the public,” said Director of the New York State Office of Emergency Management, Steven Kuhr.

Representatives from each agency involved in the exercise will meet in a few weeks to determine what went right and where improvements can be made for the betterment of the public in future real-world events.

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