Goodrich now fighting fires for city of Tulsa
Cherokee Nation citizen Angel Goodrich, now a Tulsa Fire Department member, says her family has always supported her decisions. COURTESY/TULSA FIRE DEPARTMENT
TULSA – After a basketball career that included winning three state titles for Sequoyah High School and playing for the Tulsa Shock and Seattle Storm in the WNBA, Angel Goodrich has settled into the quiet life of a retired professional athlete.
Except it isn’t always so quiet, can get deafeningly loud, and doesn’t look much like retirement. The Cherokee Nation citizen, 2008 SHS alumna and former Kansas Jayhawk is now with the Tulsa Fire Department.
“The adjustment has been great,” Goodrich said. “I was blessed to be around people that helped mold me into the person I am now. My family in particular has always been a giving family no matter who or what it was. And that lit a fire in me to want to help others at a young age. Also, my crew has helped with the adjustment as well with passing on any type of knowledge that will help me be successful on calls.”
It wasn’t a direct move from the hardwood to the station house. During the 2018-19 academic year, Goodrich served as a tutor at Kenwood School in Delaware County. Today, she helps her colleagues check the trucks, tools and safety gear in anticipation of the next call.
“Once a drop hits, we hop on the truck and head to whatever emergency is dispatched,” Goodrich said. “I enjoy the family aspect of the crew and station life. The camaraderie built amongst your crew in the station builds a bond and trust for calls that can be dangerous.”
The COVID-19 outbreak has resulted in some changes for the TPD. A fire department can be summoned to virtually any emergency – fire, medical, vehicle collision, hazardous spills, storm, flood. Currently, even non-medical equipment is routinely disinfected, and firefighters treating medical emergencies are not entering homes if the situation allows. The city’s emergency responders are trying to minimize the instances of possible infection. All Tulsa firefighters are EMT certified.
“COVID-19 has made things a little different with station life,” Goodrich said. “We aren’t able to assist in all calls due to safety precautions for ourselves and the citizens of Tulsa.”
Though she is remembered by many basketball fans for her professional career, and is remembered in Tahlequah for her run of state titles, Goodrich also had an amazing career at the University of Kansas. She is the school’s all-time leader in assists with 771. She also holds the Allen Fieldhouse record for assists in a single game – by a woman or a man – with 16.
Goodrich, who grew up in Stilwell, earned her bachelor’s degree from KU in 2013, and she takes part in outdoor activities including running, biking, hiking and kayaking. She most enjoys time with her family.
“My family are the ones that influence me each and every day – from my grandpa, my parents, my siblings and extended family,” Goodrich said.
She said she’s grateful to family and friends who have supported her choices and ambitions. “They’re the ones that make me want to be a better person. They’ve showed me the meaning of giving back to those that surround me and to always treat others the way I would want to be treated.”
She may be young and starting a new career, but Goodrich knows there are a lot of people for whom she sets an example.
“As for my professional choices in sports and firefighting, I want young Natives from my home community to see that dreams do come true as long as you stay focused and work hard towards that dream,” she said.