It was pouring rain on Sunday night in Oklahoma City, enough to flood the northbound lanes of Interstate 235. The water was coming over the median.
Oklahoma City Fire Department first got a call about a car wreck, but it was soon updated to a car being stuck in water. Four firefighters from Station 18 rushed to the scene, knowing a man was trapped in his car. News 9 was also on the scene, and got exclusive video of the rescue.
Firefighters went Southbound on I-235 to pull up near the man in his vehicle. The water was almost as high as the windows of his van, and the rain kept coming down. The firefighters got to work right away.
“We put the ladder inside his window and then I got to the van and talked him out,” said Miles Kehr. He’s been a firefighter for 18 months and said this is his first water rescue.
Kehr jumped in the water and let the man know he would be safe.
“The water is rising a little bit, but we got you safe, we got you a life vest,” said Kehr. “He handled it very, very well.”
The man pulled himself out of the van, and Kehr hung onto him as he crawled across the ladder. The victim was out of the water within minutes.
Lt. Brian Wilson said his team did a great job. After nine years on the force, this is only his second water rescue, but it was swift.
“Fortunately, we don’t have to do it very often, but we are trained and prepared to do them,” said Wilson.
Firefighter Adam Crawley has been on the department for two years. He was also there on the scene, roped to Kehr. He said watching the video of their rescue was cool to see, but also very helpful.
“We can learn from everything,” said Crawley. “When you guys get footage like that, we can learn from it and get a really good critique on it. We always want to do better every time.”
The fourth firefighter, Cpl. Coy Williams, was in training at the time of the interview with News 9.