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Firefighters Helping Get Debris To The Curb

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A helping hand reaches out to Tulsa storm victims struggling to recover. Monday was the first day Tulsa Firefighters have taken part in a new phase of debris cleanup. News On 6 anchor Craig Day reports they're helping the elderly and disabled get their storm damaged limbs to the curb for removal.

Tulsa Firefighters are used to coming to the rescue of people in need. On Monday, they came to the rescue of victims of the ice storm.

"That was a big, big tree. I'm telling you," said Tulsan Maria Swarer.

When a neighbor's tree was damaged in the ice storm, Maria Swarer was put in a bind. She says a crew cleaned up the debris next door, but didn't pick up the branches that fell in her yard.

"They expect me to move it? Hey I'm 84 years old and weigh 92 pounds. Can I move them limbs? No," said Maria Swarer of Tulsa.

The Tulsa widow called the Mayor's Action Line for help. Firefighters and cadets from the Tulsa Fire Academy came to her aid.

"That's what we're doing. We're trying to help all those people who really just need help getting it from the back to the front," said Tulsa Fire Captain John Marlar.

Dozens of Tulsa firefighters and cadets are working to help the elderly and disabled who aren't physically able to move storm debris to the curb for pick-up.

"It's a way of life for us. If people need help that's what we're going to do. We're going to help them out," said Tulsa Fire Captain John Marlar.

Firefighters and cadets are split up and assigned to pick up ice storm debris in one of five zip codes across the city. For big jobs, they all join back together, hope a bus and arrive in force to help homeowners in need.

"They moved it today. You'd better believe they moved it today," said Tulsan Maria Swarer.

In less than half an hour, Maria's entire back yard was cleaned up. It's welcome help for a storm victim who didn't know where else to turn.

This phase of cleanup is for the elderly or people who are disabled. You don't need to call your neighborhood fire station. If you need help, you can call the Mayor's Action Line at 596-2100.

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