Oklahoma City Police, Fire Departments discuss new collaborative effort to fight wildfires from above

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OKLAHOMA CITY (KFOR) – We’re learning more and hearing from the Oklahoma City Fire and Police Departments about their new team effort to tackle wildfires from above.

KFOR told you yesterday about their purchase of a “Bambi” bucket, that the police helicopter will use to dump water on fires and it was a story that had everyone talking. 

“We work together so much on so many different types of calls already and this collaborative effort is one that really benefits our residents to a very large degree,” said Batt. Chief Benny Fulkerson with OKCFD.  

Though they work together frequently, Oklahoma City Police and Fire have never teamed up quite like this before.  

“With the city and the size of this city and the continuing growth of this city, it’s really awesome to be able to partner with them,” said Capt. Valerie Littlejohn with OKCPD. 

Littlejohn says OKCPD recently acquired two newer, more powerful helicopters for its “Air One” unit – and they’ll be perfect to carry the fire department’s new Bambi Max Bucket. 

Battalion Chief Benny Fulkerson says having the ability to do water drops will be a massive help – as wildfires are a significant problem in Oklahoma City. 

In the past, the fire department has had the Oklahoma Air National Guard help them with air drops, and they will likely still do that but having their own unit will give them a quicker response time.  

“With 621 square miles and much of that being rural with rough terrain and with hard-to-access fires sometimes, to have the ability to put water on those from overhead,” Fulkerson said. “That’s a huge win for our residents to be able to put that kind of effort in place with our police department.” 

They’ve ordered the bucket and hope it will be here in the next month or so.

When it arrives, training will begin and they hope to have it in use before the end of the year.

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