The Hamburg Fire Chiefs Association

"Hamburg Water Rescue Unit "

is currently raising funds to replace their 31 year old primary response vessel.

Marine 1 is a 1985 Guardian Boston Whaler that has responded to 1000's of calls for assistance and

has helped save 100's of lives on Lake Erie and The Niagara River

We have recently been awarded 2 New York State grants towards this project but additional funds are still needed.

Please visit our Facebook and donate to our cause  Click on our logo below to "like us" on Facebook and donate





Special Thanks to the

Hamburg Rugby Club, a Boys and Girls team,

for a job well done to make Marine 1 sparkle !

(More Pictures)




Hamburg Water Rescue Unit  Mutual Aid to Newton Abbott Fire Company

for a rescue in an icy creek


Pictures by John Kreiger of the Hamburg Water Rescue Unit
At 1655 hours on January 15, 2012, Newton Abbott Fire Company was dispatched for a report of two victims in the creek near McKinley Pkwy. and Willet Roads.
As initial reports from the scene were very sketchy, 1st Assistant Chief Brian Evaldi called for mutual aid from the Hamburg Water Rescue Unit while in route. Once on scene and doing a quick evaluation of the situation, Chief Evaldi reported he had 2 young teen victims on ATVs through the ice and stuck in middle of the creek, one in view and the other under the bridge, clinging to the steel girders (no pictures available), standing on top of his floating ATV and in a slightly more dangerous situation.
While not in immediate life threatening danger, the teens would now need assistance to get back to shore safely without getting into the frigid waters. Reporting on location, Second Assistant Chief George Sweetland took Operations, keeping the teens in view at all times, further accessing the situation and evaluating the teens conditions with Blasdell Police Officer AJ Ortiz.
Due to extremely cold temperatures and while in route to the scene, Hamburg Water Rescue Unit Chief of Operations, Ron Klimowicz called for the West Seneca Water Rescue Team for standby.
Newton Abbott Firefighters along with members of the Hamburg Water rescue Unit, Rural Metro and Blasdell and Hamburg PD assisted the two young teens to shore using ladders, ropes and cold water rescue suits, having the teens in the back of waiting ambulances for evaluation in 31 minutes from the time of dispatch.
 Units remained on scene for another hour assisting the Hamburg PD and Lake Erie Towing recover the new ATV’s using ropes and winches to bring the ATV’s up out of the now frozen creek and back up on the bridge to the awaiting parents of the young teens.
While the teens were not in an immediate life threatening situation, they were stuck in the icy waters in extremely cold temperatures and in need of assistance. This call gave all agencies involved a great chance to practice and enact their mutual aid agreements and ice rescue skills under a very cold but controlled environment and under a unified command structure.



Hamburg Water Rescue Unit members respond with ALERT
ALERT Agencies activated for response to Tioga County
In the early morning hours of Thursday, September 7, 2011, ALERT Region 1 swift water rescue teams were activated to respond to TiogaCounty for massive flooding.
ALERT Coordinators Jim Miller (ALERT 9) and Ron Klimowicz (ALERT 9-1) began notifying region 1 swift water rescue teams and county officials for immediate response to the call for help, as hundreds of towns were inundated with massive flooding.
While in route to the Tioga County EOC, ALERT team members were diverted to respond directly to calls in the Towns of Waverly, Nichols and TiogaCenter. The response to these calls for help went on for over 72 hours and through out the night time hours as dozens of rescues were conducted, sometimes with Air support, never reaching their original destination of the Tioga County EOC. Alert units were then staged at the Nichols Fire Department where multiple additional deployments for rescue took place over the next few days.
ALERT Region 1 members responding were from Alden, Alexander and Sheldon Fire Companies as well as Alert Coordinators from The Hamburg Water Rescue Unit and Alden Swift Water Rescue Team.
Pictures by Ron Klimowicz and Dennis Wellspeak


Saturday June 11, 2011 at 1551 hours:
Hamburg Marine Units assist seaplane in distress
Pictures by Ben Atkins (Erie County Firewire)
The Hamburg Water Rescue Members and Big Tree Firefighters are dispatched to a report a seaplane is distress about 100 yards off the HamburgTownPark. Upon arriving on location, Marine 9 was updated by assisting boaters that the plane was doing multiple touch and go landings on the water when it appeared the plane had stalled. Unable to get the engine restarted, the seaplane was drifting towards the rocky shores just North East of the HamburgTownPark.
          Wave runner operators initially assisted in keeping the plane from drifting into the rocks on shore by towing the plane to deeper water as marine units from the Hamburg Water Rescue Unit,  US Coast Guard and Town of Hamburg Fire Coordinator (D-2) John Carlin merged on scene to render additional assistance.
          Hamburg Marine 1 arrived on location and again towed the plane to deeper waters and assessed the situation. It was determined that the plane could not restart due to a dead battery. Marine one gave “jump start” to the seaplane and followed the plane further out from shore to prepare for take off.
          The seaplane lifted off with no further problems and all marine units called back in service at1625 hours.



Hamburg Water Rescue Unit Members MutualAid Reservation Fire Department

(Dispatch audio by


More pictures

        On Sunday evening at 4:33PM, the Hamburg Water Rescue Unit was dispatched mutual Aid to the Reservation Fire Company on Route 483, for a car in the water with people trapped. Marine 9 called responding and contacted Helmuth Fire control for an update from the scene to determine what resources would be needed. Reservation 9-1 reported that they had a car off the road into a pond, upside down and completely submerged. It was unknown at this time if any additional victims were in the vehicle because the single victim pulled out by witnesses of the accident, was unconscious and still being treated at the scene.
         Hamburg Water Rescue divers arrived on scene and did a primary and secondary search of the vehicle and surrounding water for additional victims. None were found, so divers assisted the Erie County Sherriffs Department in removal of the vehicle from the water and then did an additional sweep of the water to again check for victims. No additional victims were found and the Hamburg Water Rescue units were placed back in service around 6:45 PM.



Multiple Police, Fire and Water Rescue Agencies assist Evans in search for missing young girl




Photos courtesy of Captain Kevin Caffery of Erie County Air 1
On March 24th, 2011 a report of a missing 18 year old girl came in to the Town of Evans Police Department. Within 25 minutes, multiple police, fire and rescue agencies from Evans, Hamburg and additional surrounding communities were on scene searching the 18 mile creek and the surrounding 575 acres of land. An exhaustive search continued for days as heavy snow, cold temperatures and steep terrain hampered operations and exhausted searchers from more than 27 agencies from around Western New York.
Members of the Hamburg Water Rescue and Dive Unit, Buffalo Police URT, Hamburg Police Dive Team and The Hamburg Fire Company STAR Team conducted an exhaustive search of over 3 miles of the 18 mile creek. On April 1st, 2011, the young girl’s body was found in the heavily wooded area near the creek, bringing the search to an end.
On April 14th, 2010, a debriefing and critique was held at the North Evans Fire Company where District Fire Chief Nick Mecca and Lieutenant Tom George of the Evans Police Department asked that their sincere appreciation and gratitude be passed on to all agencies involved.
Hamburg agencies assisting on the search were:
The Hamburg Water Rescue and dive Team
The HamburgVFCSTAR Team
The Hamburg Police Dive Team
Lake View Fire Company
Lake Shore Fire Company
ALERT coordinators Jim Miller and Ron Klimowicz would also like to extend their sincere thanks to all ALERT Teams that responded to the calls for assistance in this search.
Agencies from across Western New York assisting in the search were:
North Evans Volunteer Fire Company
North Evans Ladies Auxiliary
Highland Hose Volunteer Fire Company
Highland Hose Ladies Auxiliary
Buffalo Police URT
CattaraugusCounty Sheriff K-9 Unit
CSX Railroad
Alden Water Rescue
Eden Volunteer Fire Company
ErieCounty Emergency Services
Erie County Sheriff Air 1 and dive team
Evans Center Volunteer Fire Company
Evans Police Department
New YorkStateForest Rangers
New YorkState Police
NiagaraCounty Sheriff K-9 Unit
Nofolk and Southern Railroad
West Seneca Water Rescue Team
ALERT Coordinators


© 2021 Hamburg Water Rescue Unit