Tulsa firefighters respond in bitter cold temps

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Reported by: Ian Silver
Updated: 1/06 5:29 pm Published: 1/06 3:34 pm

The extreme cold in Green Country can be especially tough on firefighters, whose job requires them constantly to get wet.

FOX23's Ian Silver talked to firefighters at Station 27, who responded to an apartment fire early Monday morning. Almost 12 hours later, there are still icicles on the trucks and their gear is still practically frozen.

But the captain said that just comes with the territory, especially when you work at the busiest fire station in Oklahoma.

It's really not too bad on a day like this when they're inside a building fighting the flames.

"But once you come outside, you know, your hoses are freezing to the ground, your gear freezes solid," said Capt. Nate Morgans.

Even the trucks themselves can have problems.

"In extreme cold like this it's a pretty common occurrence for a truck to freeze up," said Morgans.

Aside from the problems with the equipment, Morgans said all the water they spray to put out the fire ends up blanketing the ground with a thick sheet of ice.

"Once you go outside to change bottles or something like that, it's pretty slippery. I almost fell a couple times," said Morgans.

On top of the slippery ground, frozen trucks and frozen hoses, they're generally covered in water themselves, and that gear that protects their skin from getting burned becomes a big risk for hypothermia and frostbite.

"Typically, we just stay up there and finish the job and try to get home as quick as possible to unthaw," he said.

But despite all of the challenges single-digit temperatures create for them, he said, "Just doing what we get paid to do. The citizens expect a level of service out of us. And just because it's cold, that doesn't mean the service goes down."

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The views expressed here do not necessarily represent those of KOKI FOX23 - Tulsa

Mayor Maynot - 1/7/2014 4:55 AM
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No matter how many times you call them back!! Here's to the loyal living life safely for everybody all the time fireman.
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