The Pryor Times

March 1, 2013

Letter to the Editor: Thank you Strang Fire Chief

— Dear Editor,

This is a thank you to the Strang Fire Department, Fire Chief Travis Fleming, first responders and Air Vac.

Early Thanksgiving Day, 12:35 a.m., my husband called 911. My life was dependent on the first responders. So serious was the situation, I would not have been alive to say God Bless and thank you had they not arrived so quickly.

We have learned the Strang Fire Department has been under attack with unfounded allegations.

The firefighters and paramedics arrived to learn my blood pressure was almost past a hope that I would live. Two IVs and a call to Air Vac and I was transported to Adair to the helicopter. At 1:30 a.m. I was flown to St. Francis Hospital in Tulsa. I so not remember any of the trip. My grateful thanks to the crew of Air Vac who calmed me when I was conscious.

Never had I witnessed so many doing so much to care of me. What an amazing group of lifesavers.

I made it through what some thought to be food poisoning, or maybe a virus, to the point of near death - but we never received a clear answer. I only know I am alive and well again thanks to all these local services.

What a shock when we read funding to Strang Fire Department had been cut almost in half. Pryor may cover a larger area, but their being in receipt of $17,860 compared to $3,303 at Strang seems excessive when we consider how many lives in Strang, including ours, depend on this fire department, which also serves many families outside Strang that Pryor could never reach in time to help.

Since this episode, we have become involved in Strang Fire Department. It took Channel 6 to air the disgraceful and dangerous condition of Strang Bridge that too many commissioners chose to disregard to the point of changing the weight limits to accommodate school buses. With the involvement of Channel 6, in a short time the current bridge was built.

Should the attack on the funding and support of the Strang Fire Department continue, we will again involve public media to look into this situation that cutting the funding could endanger the lives of so many.

When certain commissioners ordered a large quantity of fresh tar to be placed in the largest hole on the bridge just before Emery of Channel 6, the overlooked the bridge was dangerous, not just one large hole.

During some of the dangerous weather that has passed our way, we did not hear from nor receive any help from other fire departments, and certainly not from the commissioners who have taken our Mayes County funds and dispersed them at their discretion without taking into consideration the needs of the people in all areas.

Mr. and Mrs. Bill Wilson