Oklahoma Companies Donate Money To Help Small Town Fire Departments

Monday, September 19th 2011, 5:01 pm
By: News 9

Jennifer Pierce, News 9

KINGFISHER, Oklahoma -- The wildfires that raged across the state not only destroyed homes and land. They put a strain on our small town fire departments.

Now some Oklahoma companies are coming to their aid. We are talking about rural and volunteer fire departments with very small budgets. The fires left these departments with broken equipment and depleted funds.

When the smoke clears, it often reveals more than damaged landscape.

Firefighting equipment can take a beating. The problems go beyond what a firefighter can fix under the hood. This truck had to go out of service in the middle of fighting a fire.

"It broke down and I think we actually had to have it towed back to kingfisher," Captain Tom Hendricks said.

Maintenance and gas bills went through the roof when Kingfisher crews traveled to Oklahoma City and Lawton to battle wildfires.

"We don't budget fighting a fire in Lawton at any given time. We'll pinch pennies where we have to make up for that funding issue," Hendricks said.

They aren't alone. Volunteer departments in Comanche County were hit hard.

"The fuel bill alone for the county last month was $2500, that was just the fuel," Hendricks said.

Representative Dorman said businesses have come forward donating money. One has pitched in $50,000 to help departments recoup unbudgeted costs.

"We're hoping other businesses will follow suit," Rep. Dorman said.

He said it's needed more than ever. Oklahoma is just now entering wildfire season.

"So this is the time that things should really be getting bad in Oklahoma and they've already been bad for several months," Rep. Dorman said.

Apache Corporation has not only donated $50,000, but plans to donate an $80,000 CNG firefighting truck to Elk City.

Businesses that want to make donations can contact the Oklahoma Association of Regional Councils.

Donations can be made by contacting one of the 11 regional councils in Oklahoma.

To support Northwest Oklahoma fire departments in Beaver, Cimarron, Ellis, Harper, Texas, Woods, Woodward counties, contact the Oklahoma Economic Development Authority at (580) 625-4531.

To support Southwestern Oklahoma fire departments in Beckham, Custer, Greer, Harmon, Jackson, Kiowa, Roger Mills and Washita counties, contact the South Western Oklahoma Development Authority at (580) 562-4882.

To support Northern Oklahoma fire departments in Alfalfa, Blaine, Garfield, Grant, Kay, Kingfisher, Major and Noble counties, contact the Northern Oklahoma Development Authority at (580) 237-4810.

To support Northern Oklahoma fire departments in Creek, Osage and Tulsa counties and parts of Rogers and Wagoner counties, contact the Indian Nation Council of Governments at (918) 584-7526.

To support Northeastern Oklahoma fire departments in Craig, Delaware, Mayes, Nowata, Ottawa and Washington counties and part of Rogers County, contact the Grand Gateway Economic Development Association at (918) 783-5793.

To support Eastern Oklahoma fire departments in Adair, Cherokee, McIntosh, Muskogee, Okmulgee and Sequoyah counties and parts of Wagoner County, contact the Eastern Oklahoma Development District at (918) 682-7891.

To support Southeastern Oklahoma fire departments in Choctaw, Haskell, Le Flore, Latimer, McCurtain, Pittsburg and Pushmataha counties, contact the Kiamichi Economic Development District of Oklahoma at (918) 465-2367.

To support Southern Oklahoma fire departments in Atoka, Bryan, Carter, Coal, Garvin, Johnston, Love, Marshall, Murray and Pontotoc counties, contact the Southern Oklahoma Development Association at (580) 920-1388.

To support South Central fire departments in Caddo, Comanche, Cotton, Grady, Jefferson, McClain, Stephens and Tillman counties, contact the Association of South Central Oklahoma Governments at (580) 252-0595.

To support Central Oklahoma fire departments in Canadian, Cleveland, Oklahoma and Logan counties, contact the Association of Central Oklahoma Governments at (405) 234-2264.