By Cass Rains, Staff Writer
Enid News and Eagle
Chesapeake Energy Corp. donated a 2008 Chevrolet pickup from its corporate fleet to Hunter Fire Department Thursday.
Hunter Fire Chief Rusty Carter said the half-ton pickup will replace a 1985 Chevrolet and will be used as a first response medical vehicle. It will carry rescue equipment to be used at the scene of a fire or vehicle accident. The department also plans to use the pickup as a storm watch vehicle.
Assistant Chief Curtis Toews said the vehicle will serve an important purpose in the department’s response to emergency medical calls.
“We’re pretty excited about it from a medical standpoint,” Toews said. “It’s cost-free to us and it saves the taxpayers money.”
Toews said the vehicle will allow the department to provide a quicker response to medical calls, with the next nearest medical responder about 20 minutes away.
“We’re grateful to Chesapeake and everyone who helped make this possible,” he said.
The truck, which has about 88,000 miles on it, replaced the department’s 25-year-old truck, which had racked up about 109,000 miles.
Chesapeake representatives Kim Montgomery and Sondra Allen presented the pickup to Carter, Hunter firefighters and staff, and state Sens. David Myers, R-Ponca City, and Patrick Anderson, R-Enid.
“Many thanks to Chesapeake Energy for providing the Hunter Fire Department with a much-needed vehicle,” Myers said. “During this budget downturn, our small towns are in dire need of assistance and we greatly appreciate the support of our corporate partners like Chesapeake.”
Anderson thanked the company for its support of rural fire departments across the state.
“I’m very grateful to Chesapeake Energy for its continued support of our state’s local fire departments,” he said. “Our rural fire departments benefit greatly from corporate partners like Chesapeake, especially when funding is limited.
“This donation is especially meaningful to me because my great grandfather homesteaded just two miles west of Hunter, following the Cherokee Strip Land Run in 1893. My family has been in Garfield County ever since and as a local farmer, I know firsthand how important these rural fire departments are to all Oklahomans.”
Rep. Dale DeWitt, R-Braman, said he knows the truck “will be put to great use and will allow Hunter to provide increased service to its citizens. I greatly appreciate Chesapeake’s willingness to provide the Hunter Fire Department with vehicle support.”
Allen said the energy company was happy to help Oklahoma’s fire departments.
“On behalf of all Chesapeake employees, it is our privilege to donate this vehicle to the Hunter Fire Department,” she said. “Chesapeake is committed to supporting public safety and community enhancement in areas in which we live and work.
“We greatly appreciate Sen. Myers’ and Sen. Anderson’s effort to bring this need to our attention. By working together, we are able to help Hunter Fire Department obtain the proper resources to best serve its citizens.”