Stillwater News Press

Local News

August 8, 2012

Stillwater residents donate water, food to firefighters during wildfires

STILLWATER, Okla. — The Stillwater Fire Department stations received more water, sports drinks and food than firefighters can use in a year following this weekend’s wildfire north of Stillwater.

“We have stockpiles that will likely last more than a year,” Fire Lt. Chad Hane said. Residents and area businesses have been dropping off thousands of water bottles to area firefighters — more than they know what to do with.

Fire Marshal Trent Hawkins said he is overwhelmed and grateful for the massive community response.

“It is just unbelievable,” he said. “It's very humbling.”

He added the public’s efforts could now better serve volunteer fire departments like Ripley, Glencoe, Ingalls, Mulhall, Perkins and the Iowa Tribe that have small budgets.

Hawkins said the recent wildfires have taken their toll on the small volunteer departments because the fires create additional fuel, repair and supply expenses. It also takes its toll of the firefighters, who volunteer their time.

“When they roll out the door somebody has to leave their paying job,” Hawkins said. “They are sacrificing.”

He advised residents who want to support area firefighters to make monetary donations to one of those volunteer departments.

Hane said supporters may call fire administration at (405) 742-8308 where Stillwater personnel will help them make donations to area volunteer units.

Donations kept firefighters on the front line hydrated as massive wildfires scorched Oklahoma.

People would be shuttling water to firefighters who were often putting in 20-hour shifts, Hane said.

“I don't know how we could have continued what we were doing without that amount of supplies,” Hane said explaining donations freed up firefighters who would have had to leave the fire line to get water and food.


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