Land and Water Search and Rescue

Proudly Serving New York, Massachusetts & Vermont Since 1958!


ET-1 (2015 Ford F450 4wd)

ET-2 (2007 Dodge Ram 1500 w/4wd)

Main building

Team Vehicles & Boats

Brief Team History


12' Quicksilver 430 HD Inflatable equipped for divers and K-9s

17' Boston Whaler equipped for divers and K-9s

Truck and boat garage

Team Headquarters

Waterford, being the point at the Hudson and Mohawk Rivers meet as well as having the Erie Barge Canal running through it brought it’s share of underwater emergencies with little help whatsoever when an emergency arose. The only response to finding a drowning victim was to drag with large hooks from a boat and hopefully hook onto the victim.  This was not only ineffective but also made for a rather unpleasant recovery for the victim’s family.

 In 1958, a group of men realized that there was little being done throughout the Capital Region with regards to responding to drownings or any other underwater emergencies.  Many being volunteer fireman and realizing that fire department resources are limited by districts, they decided to form a team that was strictly created to answer calls to drownings throughout the Capital Region and beyond.  The Waterford Emergency Inc. Team was formed.  The Team was the lead agency whenever any water or underwater emergency occurred, assisting any police and fire department as needed.  To date we have made over 100 recoveries, the second to the NYS Police Dive Team in NYS.  We have worked as a support team for most Albany Regional police and fire departments including but not limited to the Fulton, Rensselaer and Saratoga County Sheriff’s Departments, Troy, Cohoes, Waterford, Mechanicville, Watervliet, and many other police departments.  Throughout the years, the Team had broadened its scope to include EMS, vehicle extrication, high angle rescue, wildland field search, and pumping flooded basements and providing rescue boats when flooding occurred.  Our primary focus has always been underwater search and recovery. We are the oldest active volunteer underwater search team in the United States.

 In 2009, the Team found it necessary to change its name to better reflect the area of operation.  We now serve a 100 mile radius of Waterford which brings us into eastern Vermont and Massachusetts.  The new name became Waterford Emergency Team, Inc. dba Tri-State Emergency Team.  We now primarily provide underwater and wildland searches for missing people.  We currently assist NYSDEC and other police agencies as needed on a totally volunteer basis.  We are a totally non for profit, 501c3 (tax deductible) volunteer agency that responds 24/7/365 to any emergency where our special services are needed.