Hero troopers detail harrowing bodycam video of Harriman State Park rescue

Troopers Jason Cole and Andrew Giga returned to Harriman State Park Tuesday and rehashed the hour-long incident that started with a call about a medical emergency in a stranded car. They soon realized more people needed help.

Diane Caruso and Bob Doda

Jul 11, 2023, 9:38 PM

Updated 283 days ago

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News 12 showed viewers body camera footage from New York State Police troopers who saved more than two dozen people from Sunday's floods. News 12’s Diane Caruso spoke with the troopers behind the video.
“It's definitely something I'll never forget," said Trooper Andrew Giga.
Troopers Jason Cole and Andrew Giga returned to Harriman State Park Tuesday and rehashed the hour-long incident that started with a call about a medical emergency in a stranded car. They soon realized more people needed help.
"Not to sound cliché, but this is something that we prepare for,” said Cole. “As a trooper, you never know what you're going to come across."
They described how they used K-9 leashes and a climbing rope to create a 150-foot line as a way to get everyone to higher ground.
"We would take them in groups of five or six people at a time, and tell them to hold hands with each other, and then grab the rope and walk across,” said Cole.
The damage left behind from the storm resulted in a ditch several feet deep and at least 20 feet wide in some areas.
But both men and all the people they saved were uninjured during the ordeal. They even gave a little girl a patch to remember them.
"I'm very fortunate to have been working that day," said Giga.
"This is what we do as troopers, and I would do it again," said Cole.


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