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Oklahoma responders return home after helping with Hurricane Harvey

Local first responders returned home after helping for nearly a week with Hurricane Harvey victims. (Chickasha Fire Department)

After nearly a week helping with rescues in flooded neighborhoods in Houston, Oklahoma responders are back home.

Members of the Chickasha Fire Department like Major Christopher Dennis got home on Sunday.

"They had assignments for us, they were able to feed us, give us water, give us a place to stay," Dennis said. "On such short notice, with so many people coming in I thought that was impressive."

The work the Chickasha Fire Department did was coordinated by Oklahoma's Task Force One, which also included Oklahoma City, Edmond, Norman and Mustang fire departments. They would give the teams their assignments each day.

The Chickasha firefighters were involved in rescuing many people from flooded homes, including one diabetic man the Houston Fire Department's boat couldn't reach.

"We went in and were able to get right there next to the stairs to get him out of so he could stay out of the water," Dennis said. "A lot of things like that. A lot of going in and finding people who didn't want to wade through chest-deep water."

Although they did life-changing work, they said the spirit of the people they met stuck out to them.

"I'm sure we were wreaking havoc on their lives," Dennis said. "Driving these boats around, not knowing where we were going, cutting across traffic. Everyone would stop, wave at us, let us by."

It also made an impact on other members of their team.

"It's pretty amazing that even in the middle of disaster, people still have a heart of gold," firefighter Randy Brown said.

The Chickasha Fire Department said it's hard to say exactly how many people they rescued because they also worked with the Yukon Fire Department.

They said they also helped with evacuations and rescued pets.

There were a total of 21 different agencies from Oklahoma that helped Hurricane Harvey victims.

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