NORTH LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (KTHV) - While first responders along the coast have started responding to what Hurricane Matthew is bringing, one central Arkansas responder knows firsthand what it's like.
With over 30 years of experience, North Little Rock Fire Chief Jim Murphy said it's important to understand just how serious things can get. Murphy understands the dangers hurricanes bring with them and how to help citizens in the time of need. He served with Orlando Fire Department for 32 years and assisted in over 30 hurricanes during his time there.
“I served in many capacities," Murphy recalled. "Anything from operations to safety to incident commander."
While everyone else was preparing to evacuate the city, Murphy was preparing to save lives.
“We take what we call 'ground zero' for lack of a better term and then work circles from outside of the worst areas for recovery and restoration," he explained.
Safety is the number one concerned after any natural disaster. Murphy said most people often forget to check power and gas lines that may be down in the area.
As chief, Murphy prepared crews on how to tackle the deadliest of storms. Something he said helps when dealing with natural disasters.
"We go through systematically, house by house, street by street, to make sure it's safe," Murphy said. "And then we allow people to come back to their residents as quickly as possible."
It's the help from other first responders that keeps them answering calls and working together. Through the storm, Murphy and more always remember safety as the number one goal.
"Know that we are going to get to you as quickly as possible. We're going to prioritize calls and take the most serious first, but we will get to you." Murphy said.
Chief Murphy said that once winds reach over 65 miles an hour, they're limited on the amount of calls they can answer.