Senator Jeff Rabon
ASSISTANT MAJORITY FLOOR LEADER
Senate District 5
A toka, Choctaw, McCurtain and Pushmataha Counties
For Immediate Release: March 22, 2006
Members of the Subcommittee on Natural Resources
and Regulatory Services announced a bipartisan agreement
on Wednesday to provide $15 million for firefighters
across the state. Pictured, left to right,
are Senators Charles Wyrick, David Myers, Jim Wilson,
Daisy Lawler, Chairman Jeff Rabon,
Kenneth Corn, John Ford and Don Barrington.
Senate Proposes Comprehensive Rural Fire Protection
Calls on House to Act on Plan
Rabon, Chairman of the Appropriations Subcommittee
on Natural Resources and Regulatory Services, noted
the recent wildfires that have swept across this state
has prompted the Senate to boldly step forward with
a plan that will help create a safer Oklahoma.
“The Senate felt like we had to step in, and put
forth a plan that will give these rural fire departments
the ability to continue to be the first line of defense
against wildfires that threaten our homes, our churches,
our businesses and our farm and ranchland.” Rabon
The Democratic Senator from Hugo said the Senate plan
contains three planks, one of which has already won
approval by the full Senate and awaits action in the
House of Representatives. The three planks of the
Rural Oklahoma Fire Protection Plan include:
• Senate Bill 1735, which doubles the operational
grants to rural fire departments to $5,000 annually.
The bill passed out the Senate two weeks ago, and still
awaits action in the House.
• A unique partnership with rural fire departments
and the Department of Agriculture that will put more
firefighting resources throughout the entire state using
a pod concept.
• A $7 million fund to upgrade and repair aging
fire protection equipment.
“This is a comprehensive plan will allow us to
devote resources now and plan ahead so that we can avoid
hundreds of millions of dollars in lost homes, property
and lives in the future,” Rabon (D-Hugo) said.
Rabon said the need for a comprehensive fire plan became
apparent during the rash of wildfires that have swept
across Oklahoma in recent months. He said it was irresponsible
for the Legislature to ask rural fire
departments to operate on money raised from pie auctions
and bean suppers.
“The job these rural fire departments have done
over the last few months has been nothing short of heroic,”
Rabon said. “They have spent countless hours away
from their own families sacrificing their own safety
to keep every Oklahoma family safe from these dangerous
Rabon said he continues to get phone calls from fire
departments throughout Oklahoma asking for help.
“We should act quickly to make these fire departments
whole,” the Senator said. “Our state has
a responsibility to these departments and we should
meet that responsibility.”
more information contact:
Senator Rabon's Office - (405) 521-5614