Emergency personnel rely on teamwork to help those in need during disasters

Miami fire, EMS talk about struggles of flooding
Emergency personnel rely on teamwork to help those in need during disasters
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After heavy rain at the end of May, Tar Creek and the Neosho River in Miami, Okla. caused flooding throughout the city.

That shut down major highways.. and even caused the fire department to evacuate their station on the south side of town.

Kyle Highsmith, Miami Fire Deputy Chief:”Luckily, we had a fireman that had family that had an open house on the south part of town, and we made a station out of that. They were out there for about a week and a half. So, we did have the south side of town covered.. but we were separated of course by water.”

Highsmith explains while the city was divided by flooding.. Grove helped cover ambulance needs in the south part of town.. and Quapaw Fire and EMS covered the east part of town.

But, there was another problem.. there was only a few roads going into Miami that were even open, and they were congested by heavy traffic.

Highsmith:”What we do in that situation is we rely on mutual aid from Fairland and those volunteer departments in case we have a major fire. Because we can’t get to it.”

Nath Seward, Integris Paramedic:”The flooding was challenging for us like it was over a decade ago.”

Integris Paramedic Nathan Seward says EMS crews also had trouble getting to calls and treating patients from water rescues.

Flooded roadways meant they had to rely heavily on other agencies.

Seward:”We’re gonna find a way or find another service to make sure that you get treated for your medical emergency. Whether that’s responding to patients while riding with the fire department’s rescue boat, or having them actually go out and load a patient, and bring them to a waiting ambulance.”

Teamwork that emergency personnel relies on to help those in need when disaster strikes.

Seward:”It makes these hard situations able to be managed.”

Highsmith says over during flooding in te spring, the hardest thing to keep up with was water rescues.

That’s partly because of people driving around barricades