TULSA, OKLAHOMA -- The Cherokee Nation recently contributed more than $305,000 to 127 rural fire northeastern Oklahoma departments. In northern Tulsa County, several fire departments received a total of $7,212.90 of that contribution.
This additional funding will allow for volunteer firefighters to better serve their communities and purchase newer equipment as needed.
In a news release, Principal Chief Chad Smith says this is a great opportunity for the tribe to acknowledge the things that make communities more cohesive and family safe.
"You really can't find a better example of community leadership in the spirit of ‘gadugi' than you do with the volunteer firefighters," said Smith. "They don't get paid to put themselves in harm's way; they're diligent and they have their community's best interest at heart."
Fire chief of Turley Fire Department, Keith Ross says he looks forward to this contribution each year and it is truly beneficial to their department.
"Without the help of the Cherokee Nation it would be tough for us to take on the full cost of fuel for all of our trucks," said Ross. "This additional funding will allow us to provide better service to our community and at times, help save lives."
Over the past five years Cherokee Nation has contributed more than $1.4 million to rural fire departments within the tribe's jurisdictional boundaries.