Firefighter Injured During Hurricane Relief Returns To Oklahoma

Wednesday, October 19th 2016, 10:29 pm
By: News On 6

A volunteer firefighter is back in Oklahoma after being injured while working as a contractor during Hurricane Matthew disaster relief.

The Silver City volunteer firefighter suffered several injuries after a tree fell on him during the cleanup.

10/10/2016 Related Story: Silver City Firefighter Hurt In Florida Storm Response

When major hurricanes threaten the nation, first responders and aid relief teams travel from all over to help out, and Zach Collins is on one of those teams.

Collins received critical injuries to his back and upper body after a tree fell on him during one of the cleanup assignments; now, after almost two weeks in the hospital, he’s back home.

"It's awesome,” Collins said. “It's family all right here."

Welcomed by his fellow first responders at the Tulsa airport, Collins said he was happy he could help those affected by the hurricane.

Collins said, "It was pretty good work. It was awesome."

But he's ready to get healthy again.

Silver City Fire Department Chief Jason Bradley said he can't wait to get the hero back on his feet and helping people again, and that he’s happy to have one of his most dedicated firefighters back home safely.

"I'm trying to hold back the tears,” Bradley said. “If you could only understand that."

While Collins recovers, his friends and former coworkers at Metal Building Industries built a ramp for him.

Collins has multiple injuries from his arms to his internal organs; he said it’s going to take him a couple of months to get back out there.