Tribe donates $455K to volunteer firefighters
CATOOSA, Okla. – The Cherokee Nation contributed to the budgets of 127 rural volunteer fire departments on Sept. 18 by handing over checks totaling nearly a half million dollars.
In addition to receiving the funds, the fire departments were also treated to a banquet at Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Tulsa, where the CN gave firefighters and departments awards.
“These men and women are highly trained and skilled and are on call 24/7, 365 days a year, to protect our families. We just want to recognize and thank them for those services,” Principal Chief Bill John Baker said. “What they do is so important, and this is a way to help them continue to keep our areas safe.”
This summer was one of Oklahoma’s driest summers on record, leading to a string of wildfires. Volunteer fire departments rely heavily on fundraisers and membership drives to pay for fuel, equipment and other expenses. Each of the 127 fire departments received a $3,582 check to help cover those costs.
The Sallisaw Brushy Mountain Volunteer Fire Department was named the tribe’s Volunteer Fire Department of the Year for the southern region. Its crew of one paramedic, two ambulance drivers, seven first responders and four certified swift water rescue divers responded to 26 structure fires and salvaged all but three.
“They not only helped put fires out in the neighborhood and volunteered to find missing hunters and children, but they also ran concession stands at school festivals and donated to buy them playground equipment,” said Deputy Chief Joe Crittenden, who emceed the dinner and awards.
The Afton Volunteer Fire Department was nominated by the town’s mayor for donating more than 1,150 volunteer hours won Volunteer Fire Department of the Year for the tribe’s northern region.
Volunteer Firefighter of the Year awards were also given to Rod Windle of Bluejacket, Cherie Brave of Hulbert, Nick Scott of Checotah and Scott O’Neal of Stilwell.
ᎦᏚᏏ, ᎣᎦᎵᎰᎹ – ᏣᎳᎩ ᎠᏰᎵ ᎤᎾᎵᏍᎪᎸᏔᏂ ᎾᏍᎩᎾ ᎤᎾᎵᏍᏕᎸᏙᏗ ᎾᎿ ᏍᎪᎯᏧᏈ ᏔᎵᏍᎪ ᎦᎵᏉᎩ ᏚᎾᏙᏢᏒ ᎠᎾᏓᎵᏍᎪᎸᏗᏍᎩ ᎠᏥᎳ ᏗᎾᏟᎯ ᎾᎿ ᏚᎵᏍᏗ ᏁᎳᏚᏏᏁ ᏕᎨᏥᏅᏁᎸ ᎠᏕᎳ ᏗᏎᏍᏗᏂᎦᏓ ᎨᏒ ᏗᎵᎪᏔᏅ ᎠᏰᏟ ᎢᏳᏆᏗᏅᏓ ᎠᏕᎸ ᎨᏒᎢ.
ᏫᎧᏁᏉᏓ ᎠᏂᎩᏍᎬ ᎠᏕᎳ, ᎾᏍᎩ ᏗᏅᏝᏗᏍᎩ ᏧᎾᏩᏙᏢ ᎾᏍᎩ ᎢᎨᎨᎳᏍᏔᏁ ᎾᎿ ᏍᏓᏯ ᏅᏯ ᏧᏂᏒᏍᏗ ᎠᎴ ᏧᏂᏆᏂᏲᏍᏗ ᏔᎳᏏ, ᎾᎿ ᏣᎳᎩ ᎠᏰᎵ ᏚᏁᎴ ᎠᏥᎳ ᏗᏅᏝᏗᏍᎩ ᎠᎴ ᏚᎾᏙᏢᏒ ᎤᏂᎩᏍᏗ.
“ᎯᎠ ᎠᏂᏍᎦᏯ ᎠᎴ ᎠᏂᎨᏯ ᎣᏍᏓ ᎨᏥᏏᎾᎲᏍᏔᏅ ᎠᎴ ᎤᎾᏕᎶᏆᎥ ᎠᎴ ᎠᏂᎦᏘᏲ ᏱᎨᏥᏯᏅᎯᏊ ᏧᏙᏓᏮᏓ ᎦᎵᏉᎩ ᏧᏙᏓᏆᏗ ᏑᏕᏘᏴᏓ ᎨᏒᎢ, ᎾᏍᎩ ᏧᏂᏍᏕᎸᏗ ᏕᎦᏓᏘᎾᎥᎢ. ᎣᎦᏚᎵᎭ ᏗᏦᎵᎩ ᎢᏳᎵᏍᏙᏗ ᎠᎴ ᏗᎵᎮᎵᏤᏗ ᎾᎾᏛᏁᎲᎢ,” ᎤᏛᏅ ᎤᎬᏫᏳᎯ Bill John Baker. “ ᏄᏍᏛ ᎾᎾᏛᏁᎲ ᎤᎵᏍᎨᏓ, ᎠᎴ ᎯᎠ ᏂᏓᏛᏁᎲ ᎡᎵᏊ ᏕᏗᏍᏕᎵᎭ ᎣᏍᏓ ᎠᎴ ᏙᎯ ᏕᎨᏅᏒᎢ.”
ᎯᎠ ᎪᎦ ᏥᎨᏒ ᎾᎿ ᎣᎦᎵᎰᎹ ᏭᎧᏲᏗᏴ ᎨᏒ ᎾᏳ ᎪᏪᎸᎢ, ᎾᏍᎩ ᏱᏄᏍᏗ ᎾᎿ ᏕᎦᎵᎪᎢ.
ᎠᎾᏓᎵᏍᎪᎸᏗᏍᎩ ᎠᏥᎳ ᏗᏅᏝᏗᏍᎩ ᎤᎾᎵᏍᎦᏍᏙᎢ ᎠᏕᎳ ᎠᏂᏟᏏᏍᎬ ᎠᎴ ᎠᏁᏖᎳᏗᏍᎩ ᎦᎸᎬ ᎠᎾᏈᏱᏍᎪ ᎾᎿ ᎨᏌ, ᎬᏔᏂᏓᏍᏗ ᎠᎴ ᏐᎢ ᏓᎳᎬᏩᏝᏂᏙᎲᎢ.
ᎾᎿ ᏌᎷᎾᎨᏴ ᏚᏲᏅᏍᏓᏅ ᎣᏓᎸ ᎠᎾᏓᎵᏍᎪᎸᏗᏍᎩ ᎠᏥᎳ ᏗᏅᏝᏗᏍᎩ ᎤᎾᏙᏢᎯ ᏕᎨᎪᎥ ᎾᎿ ᎠᏂᎳᏍᏴᏢ ᎠᎾᏓᎵᏍᎪᎸᏗᏍᎩ ᎠᏥᎳ ᎤᎾᏙᏢᎯ ᏑᏕᏘᏴᏓ ᎨᏒ ᎩᎶ ᏓᏃᏍᎪᎢ ᎣᏍᏓ ᏄᎾᏛᏁᎸᎢ ᎾᏍᎩᏃ ᎨᏒᎢ ᎾᎿ ᎤᎦᎾᏮ ᎢᏗᏢ ᎨᏒᎢ. ᎾᏍᎩᎾ ᎤᎾᏓᏈᎬ ᏌᏊ ᎤᏂᎧᎭ ᏅᏬᏘ ᎤᏅᏔ, ᎠᏂᏔᎵ ᎩᎶ ᎪᎱᏍᏗ ᏳᎵᏍᏓᏁᎵ ᎤᏟᏍᏗ ᎡᏙᎯ ᏗᎦᏚᎴᏂ ᏗᏂᏱᎵᏙᎯ, ᎦᎵᏉᎩ ᎢᎬᏱ ᏩᎾᏬᎯᎵᏴᏍᎦ ᎠᎴ ᏅᎩ ᎤᎾᎵᏍᎪᎸᏓᏁᎯ ᏧᏂᎾᎢ ᎠᎹ ᎤᏍᎦᏎᏗ ᎠᎢᏒ ᏴᏫ ᏗᏂᏍᏕᎵᏍᎩ ᎠᎾᏕᏛᏍᎦ ᎨᎶ ᏯᎬᎦ ᎠᎴ ᎤᎾᏬᎯᎵᏴᏌ ᏔᎵᏍᎪ ᏑᏓᎵ ᎪᎱᏍᏗ ᎤᏙᏢᏒ ᏯᏛᎾ ᎦᎵᏦᏕ ᎠᎪᎲᏍᎬ ᎠᎴ ᏚᏅᏝᏓ ᏦᎢᏊ ᎤᏩᏌ Ꮭ.
“ᏝᏃ Ꮩ ᎦᎵᎬ ᎠᎴ ᎦᎵᏦᏕ ᏓᎪᎲᏍᎬ ᎤᏩᏌ ᏱᏓᏂᏍᏕᎵᏍᎪ ᎾᎿ ᎾᎥ ᏄᎾᏓᎸ ᎠᎴ ᎠᎾᏓᎵᏍᎪᎸᏗᏍᎪ ᏧᏂᏯᏍᏗ ᎠᏂᏃᎭᎵᏙ ᏱᏓᎾᏠᎦ ᎠᎴ ᏗᏂᏲᏟ, ᎠᏎᏃ ᎾᏍᏊ ᎠᏂᎾᏕᏒᎲᏍᎪ ᎾᎿ ᏧᎾᏕᎶᏆᏍᏗ ᏓᏍᏆᎵᏍᎬ ᎠᎴ ᎠᎾᎵᏍᎪᎸᏗᏍᎪ ᎤᏂᏩᎯᏍᏗ ᏗᏂᏲᏟ ᏧᎾᏁᎶᏗ ᏧᎾᏁᎶᏗ ᎢᏳᏅᏙᏗ,” ᎠᏗᏍᎬ ᏔᎵᏁ ᎠᏓᎴᏁᎯ ᎤᎬᏫᏳᎯ Joe Crittenden, ᎾᏍᎩᎾ ᎦᏬᏂᏍᎩ ᎨᏒ ᎾᎿ ᎠᎾᎵᏍᏓᏴᎲᏍᎬ ᎠᎴ ᏓᏂᏁᎸᏁᏍᎬ.
ᎾᏍᎩ Afton ᎠᎾᎵᏍᎪᎸᏗᏍᎩ ᎠᏥᎳ ᏗᎾᏟᎯ ᎤᎾᏙᏢ ᎠᎦᏑᏰᏒ ᎾᎿ ᎦᏚᎲ ᎤᎬᏫᏳᎯ ᎾᏍᎩ ᎠᎵᏍᎪᎸᏗᏍᎬ ᎤᎪᏛ ᎾᏃ ᏌᏊ ᏯᎦᏴᎵ ᏍᎪᎯᏧᏈ ᎯᎦᏍᎪᎯ ᎤᎾᎵᏍᎪᎸᏔᏅ ᎢᏳᏟᎶᏓ ᏩᏥ ᎤᏪᏅᏍᏗ ᎾᎿ ᎠᏥᎳ ᏗᎾᏟᎯ ᎤᎾᏙᏢᎯ ᎾᎿ ᏧᏕᏘᏴᏌᏗ ᎾᎿ ᎤᏴᏢ ᎢᏗᏢ ᎨᏒᎢ.
ᎠᎾᎵᏍᎪᎸᏗᏍᎩ ᎠᏥᎳ ᏗᎾᏟᎯ ᎾᎿ ᏑᎶᏘᏴᏓ ᎠᎦᎵᎡᎵᏍᏗᏍᎬ ᎠᏥᏁᎸ Rod Windle ᎾᎿ Blue Jacket ᎡᎯ, Cherie Brave ᎾᎿ Hulbert ᎡᎯ, Nick Scott ᎾᎿ Checotah ᎡᎯ ᎠᎴ Scott O’Neal ᎾᎿ Stilwell ᎡᎯ.