Capt. Michael Kucsma.
Portland crews worked in vain to rescue and revive an off-duty firefighter who died while SCUBA diving.
Capt. Michael Kucsma, an avid scuba diver, was reported missing near Back Cove by a diving partner around 3:40 PM.
Portland fire crews responded to the scene and worked to locate and extricate Kucsma.
Despite efforts to resuscitate Kucsma, he was pronounced dead at the scene and then taken to a funeral home.
“Rescues of this nature are never easy, but when it’s a co-worker it is that much harder on everyone involved," Fire Chief Jerome LaMoria said.
The department called in peer support and counselors to spend time with his family and coworkers.
“When you spend this amount of time with someone and place the kind of trust in each other as we do, we become a big family, " LaMoira said. "It’s just a devastating loss for everyone. We will provide whatever support is needed for his family at home and his co-workers here in Portland."
A 21-year veteran of the department, Kucsma was promoted to captain in 2006 and he worked at Engine 6.
According to the Press-Herald, he was a deputy fire chief in his hometown of Gorham.