Tulsa Fire Engines Smashing Down Snow On Residential Streets

Thursday, February 3rd 2011, 3:13 pm
By: News On 6

Lori Fullbright, News On 6

TULSA, Oklahoma -- The city of Tulsa had 42 fire trucks out trying to pack down snow on neighborhood streets Thursday, in between answering emergency calls.

The plows haven't had time to get to many of the side streets yet, so packing down the snow with a fire engine that weighs 39,000 pounds is certainly a big help.

News On 6 reporter Lori Fullbright rode along with the crew from Tulsa's Station House Number Four as they drove through neighborhoods, packing down piles of snow, that were slippery even in a big truck with cable chains on the back tires.

"We've been down some horrible streets. Some, especially on dead end cul de sacs that are not getting any traffic at all," Gary Billups, with the Tulsa Fire Department, said.

A lot of times, they're stopping along the way to shovel and push cars that get stuck, to help folks get out of a jam. They helped at least a dozen drivers in the first eight hours of their 24 hours shift.

The added traffic is making the packed snow much slushier, which is good for daytime driving, but not for later.

"Tonight, when it freezes, it's going to be a real rough drive, to drive on all that," Billups said.

Firefighters also went on medical calls, a chimney fire call and checked on the well-being of citizens who haven't been in touch with relatives. They say during times like this, they're here to serve in any way that's needed.

"Anything we can do, we're here for 24 hours," Billups said. "Citizens of Tulsa pay our paycheck and we're here to help any of them."

The big red trucks will do their best to pack down as many snowy streets as possible, but, there's no way for firefighters to get to them all.

We saw several people out shoveling their drive-ways waving at the firefighters as they went by. Mayor Bartlett says if you see a firefighter, thank them.

The same goes true for police officers; many have been out in their personal vehicles answering calls and helping citizens get unstuck.