CN Registration staff assist with firefighter IDs
Cherokee Nation citizen and Westville Firefighter Michael Nickens displays his new identification card created by the CN Registration Department. ROGER GRAHAM/CHEROKEE PHOENIX
BARON – When an emergency such as a fire arises, rural and volunteer firefighters often come straight from their homes or work to the scene, making it difficult for people to know who they are or why they are there.
Mid County Firefighter, First Responder and Cherokee Nation citizen, Dianna Yell, recognized this problem. She recently made a request to CN Deputy Principal Chief S. Joe Crittenden, asking if the CN Registration Department could use the software and equipment normally used to make CN Citizen Identification cards to make identification cards for the Mid County Fire Department, located in Baron in northern Adair County.
Soon after, CN Interim Registrar Derrick Vann and a small group of workers showed up at the fire station near off of Highway 59 and made it happen.
“We needed identification badges,” said Yell. “Sometimes when we would show up on scene people would question who we were because a lot of us are volunteers and would come in our everyday clothes from work or home.”
Yell added that many area businesses offer discounts to first responders and the new identification cards would help business owners recognize those who they deemed deserving discounts.
Vann said they were happy to assist the firefighters.
“There was only a slight change made to the equipment in order for us to make the badges,” said Vann. “And while these aren’t Cherokee Nation citizen IDs, we’ve noticed that several of the firefighters are CN citizens.”
CN Secretary of State Chuck Hoskin Jr. said it was Deputy Chief Crittenden, who’s a member of the Mid County Cherokee community, who urged others in helping solve this issue.
“Joe saw this initiative was just one more way we could help our rural and volunteer fire departments,” said Hoskin. “In fact, Deputy Crittenden thought this was such a good idea he has asked us to look into expanding this project.