PERTH AMBOY — This waterfront city now has its first-ever scuba dive team comprising 11 firefighters and five police officers.

Fire Chief Edward Mullen says the Perth Amboy Dive Team will fill a need by responding to a water rescue or recovery quickly.

"Lives will be saved and lives can be saved because we are able to immediately act now," he said.

The city is surrounded by the Raritan Bay, Raritan River and the Arthur Kill.

"We are known as The City by the Bay, so a few years ago we would have different incidents in our waterways where we would need divers," Mullen said. "Unfortunately, with never having a dive team in our fire department, we have to call different resources from other states, such as NYPD, or teams down in South Jersey or North Jersey. So there is a delay in trying to get an emergency service initiated."

Mullen says the team, which has completed its certification training, will officially become the Middlesex County Dive Team, capable of assisting nearby communities.

"It does not have to be a river or the ocean, it can be a pond or a small body of water inland that we can respond to, should they need some type of rescue or recovery operation."

The team is being funded through a $190,000 homeland security Port Security Grant.

Joe Cutter is the afternoon news anchor on New Jersey 101.5

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