Claremore Daily Progress

Top Stories

July 2, 2014

Government stops sending surplus equipment to fire departments

OKLAHOMA CITY —

Trucks, tankers and other unused federal vehicles are a critical aid to rural fire departments throughout the country, but the supply of surplus rolling stock now appears to have dried up.

The federal government has ended a program that provides millions of dollars worth of equipment to thousands of rural fire departments, including nearly 800 in Oklahoma, said George Geissler, state director of forestry services.

The U.S. Department of Defense ended the program when it recently decided to enforce a 25-year-old agreement with the Environmental Protection Agency, Geissler said.

Jennifer Jones, a spokeswoman for the U.S. Forest Service, said her agency received informal notice that the Defense Department was upholding the agreement after it was determined that engines in its vehicles did not meet EPA standards.

The Forest Service acts as an intermediary between the federal agencies and about 48 states that use the surplus equipment program.

As of Tuesday, rural Oklahoma fire departments were using 8,812 pieces of federal surplus equipment valued at $150 million, said Geissler. Each year the state receives $13 million to $15 million worth of equipment, which is then distributed to a waiting list of departments in need.

Few details were available about what the shutdown means for equipment already distributed to departments across the state. A spokeswoman for a Defense Department surplus program said Tuesday that she was not aware of any changes.

One of the surplus program’s biggest benefits is that it provides vehicles that would normally cost a small fire department $150,000 to $200,000.

Instead departments only have to equip the vehicle, at a cost of $30,000 to $40,000.

“The cost to all these fire departments would go up astronomically,” Geissler said. “There are a lot of departments out there that are not going to be able to afford this. They serve small areas — small, rural communities — and to get a piece of equipment like we’re talking about, they’re just not going to be able to afford it.”

Text Only
Top Stories
  • Claremore sisters featured on talk show

    During their recent trip to Los Angeles, Claremore sisters Lindsey and Whitney Martin made the most of their time in the city of angels, spending time with family, visiting several beaches, restaurants and Hollywood attractions.

    July 29, 2014 1 Link

  • Elementary students learn to bid at Zebra Stripes auction

    Claremore elementary students in the Zebra Stripes summer care program participated in a student-friendly auction Friday at Roosa Elementary. The auction was presented by Daneen Shepherd, realtor/broker and auctioneer of Tulsa, who taught the children how to bid on items efficiently and effectively.

    July 29, 2014 1 Link

  • Treasurer issues tax warrants

    For the first time, tax warrants are being issued in Rogers County to collect unpaid personal property taxes.
    This week, some local business owners should expect to be served by the Rogers County Sheriff’s office.
    Personal tax warrants have been issued to three local companies, who owe a total of approximately $38,000 in past due taxes.

    July 29, 2014

  • No evidence or human remains found

    Rogers County Sheriff’s deputies and assisting agencies vacated a Tiawah property Friday, after no evidence or human remains were found in connection to the disappearance of a local resident that went missing in 1996.

    July 27, 2014

  • RCLC launches letter campaign

    The Rogers County Literacy Council, RCLC, is launching their annual letter writing campaign.
     A United Way Organization, the council is asking for community support to help promote literacy in the English language.

    July 27, 2014

  • taylor.armerding.jpg Inequality crisis shot with factual problems, hypocrisy

    President Obama, various media and political liberals say inequality, of all things, is the defining issue of our times. Yet this message is delivered by multimillionaires and a president who jets from tee time to stump speech on the taxpayer's dime.
     

    July 26, 2014 1 Photo

  • Obama wants limits on US company mergers abroad

    Staking out a populist stand ahead of the midterm elections, President Barack Obama on Thursday demanded “economic patriotism” from U.S. corporations that use legal means to avoid U.S. taxes through overseas mergers.

    July 25, 2014

  • Local churches impact poverty

    Claremore First Christian Church, First United Methodist and the Pastoral Alliance are combining efforts to host a 16-week program, “Getting Ahead in a Just Getting by World,” based off of the national program — “bridges out of poverty.”

    July 25, 2014

  • Grand Jury recesses until August

    The multicounty grand jury charged with investigating accusations of misconduct by Rogers County officials recessed Thursday until August 19-21, saying it needed to hear from more witnesses before returning a finding in the matter.

    July 25, 2014

  • Former Sheriff’s deputy arrested

    The Rogers County Sheriff’s Office arrested ex-deputy Brian Kindle Wednesday after receiving multiple reports concerning his safety.

    July 25, 2014