CLEVELAND (WJW) — Some police officers didn’t have flares to control traffic at the scene of a hit and run that killed a Cleveland firefighter, the FOX 8 I-Team has found.

So, we investigated why.

Last Saturday night, rescue crews rushed to the scene of a crash on I-90 near MLK. At that scene, a hit and run driver killed firefighter Johnny Tetrick.

A recording of police radio traffic shows one officer on scene called in and said, “If anyone is available to go to the district, we need flares.” He also said, “I just left the district. We do not have any flares. Radio, can you call the Third [district] to see if they have any flares.”

We followed up on that call from the scene. Multiple sources tell us, it’s up to individual officers  to make sure they have flares in their cars. But, the I-Team also sent questions to the Cleveland Police Chief’s Office about this wondering if the Cleveland Department of Police has a shortage of flares.

Johnny Tetrick

“The Division has a full supply of flares. I’m not sure why those cars didn’t have flares,” Sgt. Jennifer Ciaccia wrote in an email.

This comes to light as Fire Chief Anthony Luke spoke out about the death of firefighter Tetrick.

“He loved his job. He really did,” Luke said. “When you wear that patch on your sleeve, you are, now, family. When you lose a family member, that’s when the fire service, in my personal opinion, shines brightest.”

The chief did not want to comment on the questions about the flares, saying “This is an ongoing investigation, so I’m not going to comment, specifically, on the scene.”

But, he pointed out, sometimes, even blocking a scene with fire trucks is not enough to protect rescuers from dangerous drivers. The law even tells drivers they have to slow down and move over at scenes with flashing emergency lights.

“We consistently have our apparatus struck,” the chief added. “We consistently have vehicles that will bypass any safety measures that we put out.”

Police arrested Leander Bissell. Investigators say he’d been driving while drunk. Tetrick got hit as he picked up debris.

No telling if flares might have saved a life. Also, not clear why some officers didn’t have flares.

“We feel the community’s support, and we appreciate it,” Luke said. “If the citizens would take a moment. Slow down. Move over.”

He added, firefighters constantly look nationwide at what other first responders do in the hopes of finding safer ways of handling accidents on the highway.