Local News

May 24, 2013 6:29 PM by Heather Jackson

Local Firefighters Share Their Emotional Journey in Oklahoma

CORPUS CHRISTI - The team of four local firefighters that helped out in Oklahoma are back. they got in last night just in time to join their families for dinner.

"We see people...," Cpt. Lee Rogers, a Texas Task Force One Member stops mid-sentence.

Fire Captain Lee Rogers tries to fight back tears as he explains the devastation he witnessed in Oklahoma.

"We see people at the worst point in their lives...and we are sensitive to that and we know," Cpt. Rogers explains.

His team member David Saenz says they saw people searching for the smallest things that would let them know everything would be ok.

"Digging for whatever little thing they can get...pulling out a class ring or a wedding ring," David Saenz, a Texas Task Force One Member remembers.

Saenz is a Hazmat specialist; he spent his time making sure there weren't any hazardous materials in the rubble before rescuers, like Captain Lee Rogers, went in. In the first 12 to 13 hours, crews were able to get through 500 homes.

Saenz says the entire time they were there people were offering food and water and victims were thanking them along the way.

"...that is the most touching part of the deal....," Saenz says through tears.

Both men say when they leave the doors of their home to respond to a disaster call, they're focused on the task at hand. They say that's a hard thing to do but keeping it together is only possible with the heroes in their corner.

"People call us the heroes...but the real heroes are the families that stay behind," Saenz explains.

To take care of their kids and home...until they return. Now that they are back they are looking forward

"All our clothes need to be washed...all our gear that needs to be used...and get it ready to go out the door the next time," Saenz says excitedly.

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