Governor Brad Henry proposes money for firefighters

Thursday, January 26th 2006, 1:10 pm
By: News On 6

OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) -- Governor Brad Henry wants to provide $28.5-million to help firefighters be better able to respond to emergencies such as the current wildfires in the state.

The plan includes a supplemental appropriation to immediately give more than $2,000 to volunteer fire departments across the state. It would also increase the state's annual grant to the departments from $2,780 a year to $4,720 a year.

Another $4.5-million would be put in a fund that fire departments could use to replace old or damaged equipment and $3-million would be used for more training. Nearly $1.5-million in extra funding would go to the state Department of Agriculture next year for aerial firefighting.

And $12-million would be placed in the State Emergency Fund to pay off past debts and prepare for future disasters.

The president has issued a disaster declaration for 12 counties because of wildfires and state officials are asking that 14 more counties be added to the declaration.