Cherokee Nation Donates More Than $451,000 to Local Fire Departments
The Cherokee Nation donated $451,000 to 129 rural and city fire departments on July 1, thanking the firefighters for helping protect citizen homes and families.
The Cherokee Nation held its annual volunteer firefighters ceremony at the Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Tulsa and distributed $3,500 checks to each of the departments that serve within the tribe’s jurisdiction. Rural fire departments rely heavily on good Samaritans, fundraisers and membership drives to keep their stations operating.
“In emergency situations, these brave men and women step up to protect our homes, our property and even our lives,” said Cherokee Nation Principal Chief Bill John Baker. “Volunteer firefighters are often the backbone of our rural communities, and that is why it is so important for the Cherokee Nation to support them by making this financial commitment. Our partnerships with volunteer fire departments will positively impact the lives of all citizens in the Cherokee Nation’s jurisdiction.”
During the ceremony, the Cherokee Nation honored Cabin Creek Fire Department in Mayes County and Welling Volunteer Fire Department in Cherokee County as “Volunteer Fire Departments of the Year.”
In the past year, Cabin Creek firefighters built an additional fire station and upgraded their vehicles, which in turn significantly lowered their Insurance Service Organization rating, lowering homeowner insurance rates for all their citizens. The department held firefighting training courses with area volunteer stations, and the upgraded training now allows them to assist with emergency calls as emergency medical responders and paramedics.
The 14-member station was also quick to respond to the Spavinaw tornado. Arriving right after it hit, they were in service until everyone was located and safe.
“It’s a great honor to be recognized as the Fire Department of the Year, but the bottom line of it is that it takes a team effort,” said Jason Miller, Cabin Creek Fire Department fire chief. “Having the Cherokee Nation’s support is absolutely unbelievable. They support their communities just like a fire department does, and they have our backs as we are out there having our communities’ backs.”
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