Rural Fire Defense
New Fire Departments
One of the original purposes when the Rural Fire Defense program was established in 1985 was to establish fire protection in areas that had poor or non-existent fire protection. Since the beginning of this program the number of fire departments in our area has more than doubled and virtually all of the land mass has established and reliable fire protection. When population or other drivers required a new fire department be established, EODD provides that valuable service.
EODD administers the transfer of ownership of trucks and equipment from the Department of Defense to our local fire departments. These trucks and equipment are transported into the state by forestry and then distributed, based on need and requests, to our fire departments. Once the departments have converted the trucks into fire-fighting vehicles they are given title and ownership.
Assistance is also given to departments in the form of information and guidance when they are writing specifications for the purchase of new trucks and other firefighting equipment.
Oklahoma Forestry Services
The Oklahoma Forestry Services, as a general rule, purchase fire-fighting tools such as portable pumps, hose, nozzles and turn out gear, and then make these items available to fire departments. The departments are able to purchase these items at the same cost as paid by the state.
Reduced Insurance Rates
Technical assistance is provided to the fire departments and officials to aid in reducing the ISO rating for the fire departments. A reduction in rating reduces the insurance premiums of the area. These reductions have saved citizens of the fire protection area. These reductions have resulted in significant savings for the public that are recognized on an annual basis.
Departments are assisted in obtaining grants, loans, and donations to construct fire stations, purchase equipment, and for operating expenses.
Annual grants that are funded each year by legislative action. The amount varies from year to year, but currently has a statutory maximum of $5,100. Funds for this grant can be expended for almost any operational expense fire departments have. There is not any match requirement for this grants.
The amount of funding for this grant is allocated by the legislators on an annual basis. The annual amount varies from a few million dollars to a few hundred thousand dollars. This grant can be used for the purchase of equipment and the construction of fire stations. As is described in the title of the grant, departments are required to match this grant with 20 percent of their funds.