, Muskogee, OK

July 11, 2013

Create new fire district north of city

— Residents of an area just north of Muskogee should form a new fire protection district.

The residents — in approximately 200 homes — live outside the boundaries of Muskogee and do not have a fire protection district.

The area is bounded by the Verdigris River and U.S. 69 on the east and west and the Arkansas River and the city limits to the north and south.

The eastern edge of the area at issue is located 14.5 miles from the nearest fire protection district’s fire station.

Mountain View Fire Department has notified the county it no longer will provide first-responder services for medical emergencies or fire suppression.

The Mountain View department should not have been the primary provider for the area in the first place.

The Muskogee Fire Department used to protect the area with Mountain View providing mutual aid.

Mountain View VFD evolved into the primary provider.

Area homeowners are faced with the decision of creating a fire district or just taking their chances.

By creating a fire district they would lower their homeowners’ insurance premiums.

They would display the same cooperation that all other volunteer districts have when they were created.

Neighbors help neighbors.

Volunteer fire departments grew from bucket brigades when families helped other families before modern firefighting evolved.

Now it seems residents in that area north of town need to help each other.