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All of Cleveland Fire Department’s air compressors are out of service

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(Fox 8 file photo)

CLEVELAND– Cleveland firefighters are literally running out of air.

All five of the city’s air compressors are out of service, according to firefighter’s union president Tim Corcoran.

The compressors are used to refill the air tanks firefighters wear on their backs to allow them to breathe when they enter a burning building.

Corcoran told FOX 8 the first of the city’s five air compressors went out 14 months ago. He said the fifth one has not been working for the past 10 days.

Since then, he said Cleveland has been refilling their air tanks at the Valley View Fire Department.

“If we get simultaneous incidents going on at the same time, we’ll deplete our resources in a rapid fashion and then it would require us to go to Valley View again. And that’s a timely process to go out there and fill up our air truck. So it’s kind of a shell game that we’re playing right now and it’s not a tenable situation for long term, definitely,” Corcoran said.

Union officials said Cleveland was using the compressor in Parma, but the city informed them it did not have the capability for that much usage.

Corcoran said the union has been in talks with the city, but it is still unclear when any of Cleveland’s compressors will be up and running again.

A Cleveland Fire Department spokesperson  says no  firefighters were ever in danger of being without air, that the department is receiving adequate amounts of air from Valley View and the city hopes to have one of the compressors fixed by the end of the week.

The union president said firefighters use air tanks every day and consider them an essential life-saving piece of equipment.