SAPULPA, Okla. — Sunday's nasty, miserable conditions made a dangerous job for firefighters by just getting to the fire on slick roads.
But after arriving, that's when they faced the real challenge, rushing to the scene only to be met by flames devouring someone's home, fearing someone may be inside.
Sunday though, they would fight the flames and battle the elements — the snow, the ice and that wicked wind. In the heat of the fire, they fight the cold. Water freezing on contact, on the house, on the equipment and on them. Sapulpa firefighter Stanley Nunn just grins and bares it.
"The conditions are pretty rough," Nunn said. "You can see our gloves are frozen, everything's frozen to our gear."
It's just like a firefighter, just like any first responder, to be so stoic and humble even when their oxygen masks freeze up and even when the cold, hard reality slaps them in the face.
"We've had several guys with their face masks iced up, so they can't see what they're doing," Battalion Chief Brad Shields said.
Then, the bitter, biting cold makes that frozen snake of a fire hose is nearly impossible to handle.
"It's always the worst for me. I hate it for the guys. They're out here, they're trying to toll a hose, but can't because it's frozen," Shields said.
But in the end, they get the job done just like always.
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