Fire union officials say they don't have any working air compressors in the city. (Source: WOIO)
CLEVELAND, OH (WOIO) -
Do Cleveland firefighters have enough air to fight fires in the city?
A firefighter will tell you breathing air is the number one priority in fighting a fire. So Cleveland 19 News wants to know why serious questions are coming from inside the Cleveland Fire Department about how much air is available for fire fighters.
The firefighters union told Cleveland 19 News all five of the city's air compressors used to fill air cylinders are broken.
The last one went belly up 10 days ago.
"We use air everyday, so if we have simultaneous events occurring, that stock of air could get depleted quickly," Timothy Corcoran, president of the Association of Cleveland Firefighters told us. "We could be in a situation where we are chasing our tails trying to replenish our air. Air is a fundamental thing of what we do."
The union says their compressors started breaking down 14 months ago.
"We fight fires everyday," Corcoran said. "We need breathing air."
Now the city borrows air with a truck from Parma and Valley View in order to get by.
Cleveland 19 News asked fire officials about the union's claims and they gave us this answer.
"There are different situations for different compressors," Cleveland Fire Department spokesperson Larry Gray said. "So I can't rectify and say that one compressor has been out as long as this time and another wasn't. I don't know that information. I will say at no time were our residents in jeopardy and at no time did we not have air."