OKC 'HOT' Team Combats Metro House Fires And Helps The Homeless

Wednesday, December 19th 2018, 3:10 pm

A special team is trying to curb vacant house fires in Oklahoma City and help the homeless. 

This job takes the HOT team (Homeless Outreach Team) to different situations and areas of the city. It also involves a lot of listening to people who could benefit from help. 

For Sergeant Bobby Prater, OKCPD, much of his days are responding to complaints and requests having to do with the homeless. 

"We just go out to investigate and kind of look around the house and see if we see any signs of people living in vacant structures or looking for warming fires that might cause a danger to the public," Prater said. 

But usually, one day a week is spend with some helping hands. 

Together, Sgt. Prater or his partner, the two officer on the HOT team go out with some members of the Health Department. They check on vacant structures, homes without water service, and homeless camps. 

Sometimes that means looking at vacant homes, and marking them with signs. 

Sgt. Prater admits that vacant building are often empty during the day, but sometimes they stumble upon other situations. People trying to stay warm, but in potentially dangerous situations. 

Prater tells people when they need to leave an area, but his teams main goal is to get these people help and resources. 

"Everyone's situation is different so once we know we'll try to work what their situation is and find the resource that's going to work for them," he said. 

Sgt. Prater wants to remind people that even if they want to help, using extension cords to provide heat resources to people in vacant building can be dangerous. 

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