FULTON COUNTY, N.Y. (NEWS10) — The Fulton County Sheriff’s Office held their annual water safety training with dozens of first responders on The Great Sacandaga Lake. The training simulates boat and jet ski accidents and other rescues. 

“When we all come together for an instant, everybody knows everybody, everybody knows what resources are available and who they can count on for different aspects of the job,” Steven SantaMaria, Director of Emergency Management, said.

The event has grown since 2016 to involve multiple county and state agencies and provide a window to learn about different resources and protocols between departments. Sheriff Richard Giardino said staffing shortages in law enforcement over the last year make those multi-department responses a necessity. 

“Asking other agencies for help is part of it,” Giardino said. “Last year we were fully staffed, this year we’re at fifty percent so we’re going to rely more on Saratoga, State Police and ENCON.” 

With Memorial Day just around the corner, Giardino said drinking and drownings make up a majority of emergency calls and as boating season begins, he said its key for law enforcement and for boaters to prevent tragedy.

“We recommend that people limit their alcohol consumption. Some people seek to think that drinking on the boat is less dangerous, it can be more dangerous,” Giardino said.