ALBANY, N.Y. (NEWS10) – The Port of Albany is upstate New York’s largest public port and logistics hub. Officials there conducted a security drill on Friday to ensure first responders are prepared to coordinate across multiple agencies in an emergency.
Local, state and federal officials conducted the annual training on the Hudson River. They don’t use the training often but when they need it, they’ll be ready.
20 years ago the Stellamare cargo ship capsized at the Port of Albany, killing three. That prompted a multi-agency response to save the crew members in the icy river, the type of coordination first responders practiced on Friday.
“Thankfully it’s been a while but it’s one of those things where we always want to make sure that our team and our partners are up on what the latest techniques are,” said Penny Vavura, a spokesperson for the Port of Albany.
She said they can encounter any number of scenarios on the water that may involve emergency medical services, law enforcement and even customs and border patrol.
The Spirit of Albany assisted in the security drill by standing-in as a distressed vessel. A New York State Police boat followed closely behind with flashing lights and even deployed a drone.
“Essentially it’s to make sure that we are up on the latest coming down from state and national regulators, as well as affirming the partnerships that we have with our local agencies,” said Vavura.
Other agencies that participated included the Albany County Emergency Management team, the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation and the U.S. Coast Guard.
“We’re working with all of our security partners and agencies to make sure everybody knows what’s going on when it’s going on and can respond in the best way possible,” said Vavura.
It’s one of many trainings they perform regularly to ensure they stay ready to respond to emergencies.
The Port of Albany is undergoing upgrades and an expansion that includes a manufacturing facility that will support offshore wind power.