The Cherokee Nation is contributing nearly half a million dollars to 136 northeast Oklahoma rural fire departments such as the Brushy Fire Department (above).
Friday, May 14, 2021 - The Cherokee Nation is contributing nearly half a million dollars to 136 northeast Oklahoma rural fire departments. The tribe’s annual contribution helps support volunteer fire departments, which otherwise rely on fundraisers, membership dues and the help of their community’s residents to maintain vital operations.
This year, because of COVID-19, the Cherokee Nation held a virtual ceremony to honor northeast Oklahoma firefighters instead of the tribe’s traditional in-person Volunteer Firefighter Appreciation Banquet.
Each of the 136 fire departments is receiving $3,500 to help with equipment, fuel or other items needed to protect lives and properties of families throughout the Cherokee Nation reservation area. The funding is set aside in the Cherokee Nation’s annual budget.
“The service provided by these 136 rural fire departments is, in many ways, immeasurable. The brave men and women who serve on these departments often leave their homes and their families in order to help save the lives or properties of people they have never even met,” Principal Chief Chuck Hoskin Jr. said. “We don’t always see firsthand the wonderful acts of courage and sacrifice they make, but we know firefighters are selfless, and their efforts leave a lasting impression on the Cherokee Nation and the communities in which they live. We owe a debt of gratitude to them, and it is an honor to know the Cherokee Nation is continuing to invest in these departments each and every year.”
Spring Valley Fire Department in Cherokee County and Whitehorn Cove Fire Department in Wagoner County were recognized as 2021's Volunteer Fire Departments of the Year.
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