Tulsa First Responders Helping Vulnerable Groups Prep For Winter Weather
TULSA, Oklahoma - A team of first responders is checking on the most vulnerable in Tulsa as the threat of winter weather comes more into focus. They're using technology and old-fashioned door knocking to offer help before it's too late.
Homeless camps have moved into the most remote areas within our city. It's amazing the places you'll find that folks are out in the elements. That's why the CARES team is using a drone locate camps in remote, heavily wooded areas that you can only get to by foot.
"A lot of these areas are frankly impassable by vehicle," said Tulsa Fire Chief Michael Baker. "Finding the trails and paths that go into there from the air allows us to be a little bit more efficient with our time."
The technology is helping them keep track of who's in need and where.
Michael Baker, Chief of Tulsa Fire Department EMS
"We found several large camps that we had been working with the population in there last year that have now been abandoned, and then we saw some new camps that had popped up and a lot of improvised shelter," said Baker.
They take the information from the air and put it into an app.
"We actually do drop a pin," said Baker. "We can go in and select a camp and we have information about who's in there."
The team is also knocking on doors checking in on the elderly or disabled and offering blankets, heaters, food, or transportation now before the winter weather.
"Make sure that they have enough, a preparedness plan, a safety plan, and enough supplies to get them through any kind of event that we might have," said Baker.
The team says its also talking with people about fire safety something you can't stress enough during the cold.