Major issues with the Cleveland Fire Department Dive Team

Dive Team with Cleveland Fire Department not certified to save you
Cleveland Fire Department spokesperson Larry Grey. (Source: WOIO)
Cleveland Fire Department spokesperson Larry Grey. (Source: WOIO)

CLEVELAND, OH (WOIO) - The Dive Team with the Cleveland Fire Department is having major issues with getting on the water in order to save your life during an emergency.

The Dive Team is suppose to be on notice 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

Cleveland 19 News Investigative Reporter Scott Taylor discovered for months the Dive Team and their air tanks haven't been ready to jump and now the Dive Team doesn't have their own boat to make a rescue heading into a busy Memorial Day weekend.

"Right now our Dive Team isn't certified," Cleveland Fire Department Spokesperson Larry Gray said Tuesday. "We are working to get that rectified."

The Fire Department says their Officers are certified but the Dive Team's air tanks are not and they are working to get them inspected and certified.

Association of Cleveland Fire Fighters Tim Corcoran says "The CFD dive team is currently prohibited from conducting dive operations due to expired equipment certifications. These certifications have been expired for nearly one year. We are disappointed that the Fire Administration is complicit in disseminating deceptive information to the public."

Cleveland 19 News learned the Dive Team's boat has been out of the water for the past two weeks due to an annual inspection.

All of this comes on the heels of Taylor's investigation earlier this month that exposed all of the department's air compressors used to fill fire fighter's air tanks were broken -- some for more than a year.

Cleveland had to borrow air from other cities. Now three of the four air compressors are back online.

Taylor asked the department, "Some people would call this embarrassing because you don't have your Dive Team certified and you don't have a boat in the water."

"Well again, it's about timing," Gray replied. "It's not about that we aren't prepared and we didn't anticipate. We have regional support and mutual aid if something would come up."

Gray tells Cleveland 19 News the Dive Team's boat could be back in the water as early as Friday or at the latest next week.  The Coast Guard and the ODNR are available to lend aid to the Dive Team if needed and even provide a boat for any rescues.

With that said... if there are multiple emergencies a fully certified Cleveland Fire Department Dive Team with their own rescue boat would be a huge plus heading into Memorial Day weekend in the City.

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