The Tulsa Fire Department is taking on Arkansas River rescues with three new boats. Firefighters started training in the new rescue boats today.
“Time is of the essence when you’re out here,” said Greg Delozier of the Tulsa Fire Department. “Somebody is under water or they are getting caught up in the dam.”
Captain Greg Delozier has been a Tulsa firefighter for 18 years and he’s been in the Arkansas River countless times for water rescues.
“They get out here and fish and like I said, it comes up so quick and they get hung up and they can’t get out of it,” said Delozier.
Delozier is alongside 16 of his firefighters, training with the department’s three new rescue boats. Tulsa Fire Captain Terry Sivadon says that confidence is key when it’s time for these first responders to put their training to the ultimate test.
Captain Sivadon mentioned that the trick is to think before you move. It’s a stressful situation and if you’re making a rescue the heat is on. The more you practice, the more comfortable you are with it.
The boats are 15-feet long and hold over 27,000 pounds of equipment or at least 10 people. After training, the new rescue boats are going to fire stations that can respond the quickest to the Arkansas River.
These boats will be in service on Thursday.