TULSA, Okla — A rural Tulsa Fire Department held an open house to show the community improvements they've made to the facility and what they have still to come.
Blackdog Fire Department is a volunteer department consisting of fourteen firefighters.
With a limited budget, Chief Paul Reeves said they have to apply for grants to make updates.
Recently they were awarded $22,000 in grants.
That money allowed them to make upgrades to their bays on the north end of the fire station, build a new room that houses another bathroom, and soon it will have special and much-needed equipment.
The equipment they plan to get is an extractor which Reeves said is a specialty washer for fire gear, they also plan to get a cascade system which is used to fill up their air tanks.
For the time being, they have to go to neighboring departments that have an extractor and a cascade system to clean their gear and fill up their air tanks.
Reeves said their call volume has picked up dramatically in the last couple of years, which is why having these at their home station would be monumental.
The self-contained breathing apparatus, or SCBA, is the foundational tool that provides the greatest amount of airway protection from toxic gas and harmful particulates resulting from the fire.
“When you’ve exhausted your SCBA fleet, your air cylinders, well it’s hard to go to another call to do the job you need to do without those cylinders so you never know. So it just gets us filled up faster and so we’re ready to go", Chief Reeves said.
If they don't have air cylinders ready to go, then they have to fight a fire from the exterior rather than making an internal attack.
He said it also saves time and energy from having to travel to those other departments to maintain their equipment.
Now that the Blackdog Firehouse has the space created to house the new equipment, Reeves said they hope to have them fully installed by September.
That's not the end of his plans either, Reeves said he will continue to apply for grants as his next goal is to build sleeping quarters at the firehouse so they can cut down on response time.
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