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Slaughterville Fire Crews Rescued From Truck During Flood

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Fire crews forced to be rescued while trying to rescue patrons Fire crews forced to be rescued while trying to rescue patrons

The brush pumper truck that got swept up in those floodwaters is now parked outside of Fire Station 3, outside the Slaughterville Town Hall.

The two firefighters who were inside it were out doing water rescues, when they had to climb out a window in order to be rescued themselves.

The truck is covered in grass, mud, and wheat and won't run.

It was towed back to the station after being found in a ditch Sunday, not too far away from where they were doing those high water rescues.

“Water was running across the top of dash that's how deep it was, said Slaughterville Fire Chief David Thompson.

“It's just a total loss brand new truck's got a thousand miles on it. It's a terrible loss for the department at this time.”

While the fire chief was back at the station communicating with the crews, Chris Tolson was out in the field.

He watched as this truck and his fellow firefighters got swept up in the current.

“I was freaking out,” said Tolson. “I couldn't even see the headlights on the truck anymore, I didn't know what was going on.”

Tolson said about that time, his truck also started taking on water.

“When I got into the water it was about five feet and it was too late to back out, so I just had to go through it,” said Tolson. 

“I was just trying to get help there as soon as I could because even though I was only a quarter of a mile away, it would have taken me 30 minutes to get to the other side.”

Chris said he called out for a mayday and got help from a crew from the Cedar Country Fire Department and they managed to rescue the two  Slaughterville firefighters trapped in the truck in the fast-moving current.

“I think one of them climbed on the back while the other was still inside,” said Tolson. “He almost got swept away, but thank goodness one of the guys on the other truck was able to grab him and pull him in.”

Both Chris and the fire chief are just thankful the firefighters who were inside this truck made it out in time.

“Don't drive in high water,” said Tolson.

Chief Thompson agreed, saying it often puts their firefighters at risk. He said if the news stations are saying to stay home, do it. And said there's a reason they tell people to turn around, don't drown.

Not only will the Slaughterville brush bumper truck have to be replaced, the fire department lost several hoses, radios and even bunker gear that washed out of the truck during the flood. They will have to be replaced as well. The fire chief said the station luckily does have insurance.

Chief Thompson said fortunately their two firefighters involved were not injured during the ordeal. On Memorial Day Monday, one was back at home with his family. The other went to work at his other job as a paramedic with EMSA.

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