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Tulsa Fire Department, River Parks Partner To Make Turkey Mountain Safer For Hikers

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TULSA, Oklahoma -

The Tulsa Fire Department is partnering with River Parks to make Turkey Mountain safer for hikers.

"My first few times coming out here, it took me a while to kind of orient myself,” said Turkey Mountain Hiker Shannon Hufnagel.

Now, Hufnagel is a natural.

"My dog and I we come out two or three times a week, we try to,” said Hufnagel.

But, the trails on Turkey Mountain can test the skill set of even the most experienced hikers.

"I've been in some situations where I wondered what I would do if I needed help,” she said.

Tulsa Fire Captain Stan May says some of those legendary Tulsa trails can also be barriers for emergency crews during rescues.

“The trails are meant for people and not for vehicles, and it's a rather large area and it's rough terrain,” explained Captain May. “So, we have a tough time sometimes getting an incapacitated victim up the hill to where we can work on them and get them to the ambulance."

The Tulsa Fire Department is partnering with River Parks to make it easier for rescue vehicles to get to stranded hikers in case of an emergency.

May says only a few trails will be affected, and the ones that are will be filled in with gravel and smoothed out, not widened.

"The plan is not to change anything about the park, just restore it to the way it originally was so that we have access,” said May.

May says part of the project also includes adding more signs with GPS coordinates so people can tell emergency crews where they are, even if they go off trail.

"Fortunately, I haven't needed that but there's always a chance that I may or somebody else might,” said Hufnagel.

Firefighters say this project could start as early as Monday and should only take a few days. 

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