Volunteer Firefighters On Decline Across Oklahoma - NewsOn6.com - Tulsa, OK - News, Weather, Video and Sports - KOTV.com |


Volunteer Firefighters On Decline Across Oklahoma

Posted: Updated:

Fire departments across Oklahoma and nationwide are dealing with a decline in volunteer firefighters.

2/8/2018 Related Story: Manpower Thin Against Rural Grass Fires, Departments Say

Here in Oklahoma, work is being done not only to increase volunteers but more importantly to retain them.

When fires rage, often-times it's volunteer firefighters like Sheri Nickel who respond. Rural communities depending on these men and women to save their lives and property. 

“As we know last spring Northwest Oklahoma was hit hard,” Nickel said, “fire doesn't know the difference between a volunteer firefighter or paid firefighter we're doing the same thing.” 

Sadly, Nickel said volunteers like herself are getting tougher to find. 

“People just don't want to do things for free anymore like they used to.” She said.  

There's no pay, no steady hours, and the work is grueling.

“We do the best we can with what we have to do it with, and that's just kind of the motto,” Nickel said.  

Oklahoma State Firefighters Association is now working to keep this line of work afloat with a $2.2 million grant. The money will be used to pay for research, gear, and training. 

“It's our belief that a well-trained firefighter is going to stay on a department longer than someone who's just doing it for the free t-shirt and the stickers on their truck,” Nickel said. 

Here in Oklahoma, there are about 10,000 total firefighters and about 6,000 volunteer firefighters.

Special Features

Live Traffic

Get the latest road conditions on Green Country roadways.

iPhone App

Get breaking news, weather, sports & video directly on your iPhone.

CBS Shows

Watch your favorite CBS shows for free online.


Looking for a website or event you heard mentioned on News On 6? Find it here!

TV Schedule

Need to know what's on TV? Check out our television schedule.

Live Radar

WARN Interactive

Special Coverage

  • Bridge Tracker

    How safe are Oklahoma's bridges? Use Bridge Tracker to find out now.

  • Fallen Heroes

    News On 6 honors our fallen Oklahoma heroes. View our interactive timeline.

  • Murrah Bombing Timeline

    Learn more about the events leading up to and following the bombing.

  • Storm Zone

    Watch tornadoes tear across Oklahoma and learn how to stay safe!

Powered by Frankly
News On 6
303 N. Boston Ave.
Tulsa, OK 74103
Newson6.com is proud to provide Oklahomans with timely and relevant news and information, sharing the stories, pictures and loves of Oklahomans across our great state.
All content © Copyright 2000 - 2018 KOTV. Oklahoma Traveler™ is a registered trademark of Griffin Communications. All Rights Reserved.
For more information on this site, please read our Privacy Policy, and Terms of Service, and Ad Choices.