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Miami-Dade Fire Rescue Boats Staying Docked For Holiday Weekend

MIAMI (CBSMiami) – Rescue crews are encouraging boaters to use extra caution over the Columbus Day weekend because of staffing shortages and budget cuts in Miami-Dade County.

The Miami-Dade Fire Rescue's two fire boats and their team of eight will not be part of the multi-agency task for patrolling Miami-Dade's water's October 12 and 13.

The fire boats have been docked since November of 2012 and Miami-Dade County is considering selling the equipment according to Metro Dade Firefighters Local 1403.

"It is imperative that those heading out to the water are aware of what resources are available to them in the event of an emergency this weekend. Although law enforcement will be out on the water, boaters need to know that marine firefighting and emergency medical services (EMS) will not be available, said Michelle Steele, Metro Dade Firefighters Local 1403 2nd Vice President in a press release.

"In the event of an accident with injuries, marine law enforcement will have to coordinate with landside EMS and transport victims to the closest marina, which should considerably delay medical treatment," Steele stated in the release.

Steele said in previous years Miami-Dade Fire Rescue has responded to hundreds of emergencies during the Columbus Day weekend, including lacerations, broken bones, crush injuries, alcohol poisoning and drug overdoses as well as boat fires, and deadly collisions.

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