Every major piece of firefighting equipment broken in East Cleveland

Every major piece of firefighting equipment broken in East Cleveland
East Cleveland fire fighters are battling for their jobs. (Source: WOIO)

EAST CLEVELAND, OH (WOIO) - The residents of

are currently without fire protection. Every major piece of fire fighting equipment in the city has broken down, leaving the city's firefighters unable to answer calls with an engine or ladder truck.

East Cleveland Fire Fighters Union President Thomas Buth says the city will ask for aid from a neighboring community if a fire breaks out.

"We'll be showing up in a police van and an ambulance, we have zero fire protection," said Buth.

Time, of course, is critical, especially in a situation where there may be a rescue needed.

"We'll make the efforts of making a survival rescue if needed," Buth said. "But we have to be careful with that because we don't have a hose line right behind us."

The city has two engines, two ladder trucks and one squad out of service. Firefighters were working on the engine Wednesday because, according to Buth, they cannot take it in to an engine mechanic for repairs.

"We can't even get quotes from companies we actually deal with because we owe them too much money," Buth said.

East Cleveland Mayor Gary Norton said he will do what he can to get the engine fixed as soon as possible, but for now the city is relying on mutual aid to fight any fires that may erupt.

The broken down engine, Norton said, "is just a symptom of the bigger financial problem we have in East Cleveland."

Norton went on to say that the only real solution for East Cleveland is a merger with the city of Cleveland.

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