The Senate unanimously passed a bill today that will immediately restore funds to cash-strapped rural fire departments across the state.
“It is truly a great day in Oklahoma,” Rabon said. “Senate Bill 1190 is a great step forward to give our heroic volunteer rural firefighters the funding they need to continue to keep our families and communities safe.”
Rabon said today’s vote was a step in the right direction and strengthens efforts that began three weeks ago when the Senate passed SB 1735 that doubled the operational grants to $5000 annually.
“What you started three weeks ago, is what makes this funding possible today,” Rabon said from the senate floor.
Rabon praised passage of SB 1190, but said he believes more needs to be done.
“Now that the Republican leadership in the House has expressed an earnest desire to do something significant for the heroic firefighters, I’m hopeful a bipartisan agreement for additional funding that will deal effectively with the needs of Oklahoma's rural fire departments will be met soon.” Rabon said.
The Senator said as the events of the last few weeks have indicated, fire season is not yet over and tornado season is already here.
“We must act swiftly to make sure that the first responders in rural Oklahoma have the resources necessary to meet the needs of future emergencies,” Rabon said. “By doing so today with the passage of SB 1190, we are doing our part to help create a safer Oklahoma. In the Senate, we try to live by the words of President Harry S. Truman who once said ‘it is amazing what you can accomplish when you don’t care who gets the credit’.”
Rabon concluded by saying he will continue talks with House leaders to push for an additional $5 million to repair and replace worn out equipment.