TECUMSEH, Okla. - An Oklahoma fire department is trying to purchase a potentially lifesaving tool before tragedy strikes again.
Several members of the Tecumseh community say their fire department needs a high water rescue boat that could be dispatched at a moment’s notice when flood waters threaten their area.
One life has already been lost, partly because that boat wasn’t available.
On June 19, the flood waters were raging at Ruggle Road and Harrison in Tecumseh.
The call of an overturned truck came in, so the Tecumseh Fire Department raced to the scene. But there wasn't much they could do.
“The water was moving so fast that we had to just stand back and we couldn’t send anybody in there,” Lt. Chad Larman, with the Tecumseh Fire Department, said. “It’s a feeling of worthlessness in my opinion. I feel like I couldn’t do my job because of the water.”
The Shawnee Fire Department finally responded with their high water rescue boat, but it was too late.
Larry and Nancy Sherrill drove up on the scene just as first responders were getting there.
“You just feel so helpless. All you can do is you know just pray that this lady is okay,” said Nancy Sherrill. “When Tecumseh got there, they could do nothing.”
The Sherrills even put together a scrapbook of their pictures from that day and hope to share it with Agle’s family.
They immediately contacted their church to see if anything could be done.
Pastor Chad Brodrick with Tecumseh First Assembly set up a GoFundMe page to get Tecumseh a water rescue boat.
“Our fire department is trained, well trained, well equipped. But this is one area they’re lacking in,” said Pastor Brodrick.
“Let’s don’t let her life be gone for no reason,” said Nancy Sherrill.
The city has already purchased several water rescue items for the fire department, like helmets, gloves and shoes.
Now they just need the boat to better protect their citizens.
So far, they’ve raised a little more than $800 of the $15,000 they need.