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“Their resources are getting depleted”: TFD deploys to Texas amid flooding, tornadoes

oklahoma task force one OKFT1
Posted at 6:36 AM, May 30, 2024

TULSA, Okla. — Tulsa Fire Department sent crew members to the Lone Star State on a special mission, the morning of May 30.

 “They’ve had severe weather for 34 days. That’s been ongoing, so they have major flooding, tornadoes. Their resources are getting depleted,” said Matt Bell.

Therefore, the state’s government has requested help from Oklahoma Task Force 1, per Bell.

For seven days, OK-TF1 will stay in Grand Prairie, TX, halfway between Dallas and Ft. Worth.

Bell, the task force’s program manager, told us they plan to head straight to work once they arrive.

“We’ll be mainly doing swift water rescue—so, evacuating people, pets, responding to swift water emergencies.”

OK-TF1 deployed 16 people and four boats. Half the task force is from the Tulsa metropolitan area, and the other half is from Oklahoma City.

Crews from other Tulsa-area agencies, such as the Grand River Dam Authority, Verdigris Fire Department, and the Tulsa County Sheriff’s Office, joined TFD members. Tulsa-area crews departed the TFD Special Operations Building at the crack of dawn on Thursday.

The task force has traveled outside Oklahoma many times in the past to natural disaster areas—whether it’s responding to hurricanes, tornadoes, or flooding.

“The weather has been pretty intense here lately. So, obviously, a lot of our team members are tired,” Bell noted.

“They’ve put in a lot of work over the last three weeks. But they’re doing a great job," he continued. "They work really hard, and we’re always eager to go out the door and help somebody when they need us.”

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