LITTLE ROCK, Ark – Little Rock Fire Station 9 crews are being hailed as heroes after jumping in to help tornado victims minutes after weathering the storm.

Station 9 sustained considerable damage following Friday’s storms and now sits empty.

“It’s home away from home,” LRFD Captain Scott Wingert said.

Friday afternoon, crews were watching the storm roll in when suddenly sirens went off, prompting everyone to take cover.

Crews said they huddled together in an office, as the tornado made a direct hit on their neighborhood.

“Going through my mind was my family, God, and I wondered what was going to hit me or impale me,” LRFD Captain Shawn Fisher said.

“It sucked one engine bay completely out,” Wingert said. “You could hear it ripping out and then the glass break.”

Silence faded in and the men emerged from the shelter, with one thing on their minds.

“It was time to go to work,” Fisher said.

Together, the crew grabbed their gear and headed into the community, helping the people they call neighbors to safety.

“Trees were down, powerlines were down, power poles were down, and we basically just cut our way into them and then started searching,” Wingert said.

These men are typically known to us as first responders.

Friday’s tornado put a new meaning on the title, as crews put boots on the ground, being the first to help.

“I think that’s just in you,” Wingert said. “I think you want to serve, that’s the reason I got into the fire department so I think that’s just in your DNA.”