Tulsa Fire Rescue Team Heads To Texas For Hurricane Harvey

Friday, August 25th 2017, 1:29 pm
By: News On 6

The south Texas coast is beginning to feel the power of Hurricane Harvey, which was strengthened to a Category 4.

Tornado warnings were also issued for some parts of the coast.

Emergency crews from Oklahoma and other surrounding states are ready to go after Texas officials put out a call for help.

The crews are expected to be on the Gulf Coast for seven days, and they've packed a trailer to the brim with everything they’ll need, including a generator and several boats.

Tulsa Fire Captain Terry Sivadon said, “They're reaching out. They know they are going to be overwhelmed."

Green Country is sending more than 20 first responders to the hazard areas.

With roughly 30 inches of rain expected, emergency crews anticipate homes will be washed away and whole neighborhoods devastated.

Water rescues will be a high priority.

“It's all about the victim and helping people and making successful rescues," Sivadon said.

The plan is to get set up along the Gulf Coast where the hurricane is expected to be at its worst.

The men and women going to help are used to covering wildfires and tornadoes. Hurricanes are a bit different, but thanks to ongoing training, they are ready.

"I guess we train so much on it that it's just second nature for us to go in there. We don't really think about being scared of anything," said team member Jeff Leon.

Every month they undergo water training. They'll use that skill on the Gulf Coast.

"They know there are several people that are going to ride this storm out," Sivadon said.

Crews are hauling equipment and materials to last them seven days.

It’s a new experience, but if it means saving lives, it's what they do.

"Some of the guys went to Katrina, and that's what they're talking this is going to be like," Leon said.

The 22-member team is made up of first responders from several cities around Green Country. When they get to the Gulf Coast they'll be joined by other agencies coming from across the country.