OLIVE, Oklahoma - A Green Country volunteer fire department is adding to its fleet.

The Olive Fire Department dedicated its newest fire engine Sunday and getting the new multi-purpose fire engine is historic for the department. Olive is about 15 miles southwest of Mannford.

It might just look like an ordinary fire truck to some, but the 2016 Pierce Pumper-Tanker is much more to the Olive Volunteer Fire Department and the communities it serves.

"We've never had something like this before," said Olive Volunteer Fire Department assistant chief Jason Dobson.
Olive, Oklahoma, has the Happy Corner convenience store, a K-12 school, a church and, of course, it's volunteer fire department - the heart of the tiny town.

It's everything to the community. 

"Our fire district is 44 square miles and approximately 841 people we protect," Dobson said. 

The department was founded in in 1993, but before that, those in the community were in a vulnerable position.

"Without us being here to quickly respond [residents would] have to wait for another fire department that could take up to 10 minutes to get here.  And in 10 minutes we know a fire could consume a home. Ten minutes means life. It could be life-changing for someone suffering cardiac arrest," Dobson said.  

Before Olive's department was established, those in the community depended on help from fire departments in surrounding towns.

"We have Drumright, we have Oilton to the north of us. You have Silver City to the north of us. To the east of us you have Freedom Hill and to the south, we have Shamrock Volunteer Fire Department and then you have Bristow," he said.

For the past 23 years, Olive has been able to return the favors, help those departments when working fires or crashes. But the firefighters have always worked with used equipment. Olive has never owned a brand, new fire engine.

"We have a great maintenance program here, we keep our trucks serviced and ready to go, but they're just aging. It's an aging fleet," Dobson said. 
Dobson is grateful for all of the equipment they own but said getting something new that's not a hand-me-down is a nice feeling.

"The main thing is, it's dependable. We know it's brand new, it's gonna start when we need it," Dobson said. 

Engine 1, as it's called now, is designed to do all sorts of things - fight structure fires, grass fires, oil fires and respond to crashes, just to name a few. It cost more than $367,000, paid for with a disaster recovery grant following the devastating Creek County wildfires in 2012. 

"It ended up spreading to our fire district, it came right through the heart of our community. We were ground zero," Dobson said. "Unfortunately during the drought situation, the weather conditions we had, there was really no stopping it."

And while Dobson said the new truck wouldn't have changed the outcome of that fire, it would have been another resource. It would have made a difference.

Just as it will make a difference around Olive from here on out.

"It makes us feel really good that we're able to deliver the services that our community deserves," Dobson said.

Olive got $318,000 dollars more through the grant, with that it will get a new multi-purpose brush truck and a new digital radio system that will allow them to communicate with other agencies.