THUMBS UP

Thumbs up to the Enid Fire Department for sending grass rigs on medical calls in lieu of engines and rescue trucks in an effort to reduce wear and tear on the more expensive vehicles.

Chief Joe Jackson and Fire Marshal Ken Helms said the switch was made to reduce the amounts, and cost, of maintenance on the engines and rescue trucks, which can cost hundreds of thousands of dollars.

The grass rigs, with platform built on full-sized pickups, are cheaper to maintain, fuel and replace.

Helms said each year the call volume for the department increases, and medical calls account for the majority of their responses.

Most of the growth is in medical emergencies and help-lift calls.

If an engine and grass rig are both at a station when a medical or help-lift call comes in, the grass rig will be dispatched.

THUMBS UP

More thumbs up for celebrating three major milestones.

Staff, residents and family gathered in the chapel at Golden Oaks Tuesday afternoon for a brief ceremony hosted by Centenarians of Oklahoma, a Tulsa nonprofit dedicated to honoring Oklahomans who have lived past their 100th birthday.

Esther Walton, 102 years old, was one of three centenarians honored along with Anna Mae Shaw, 100, and Roselyn Close, 101.

The group’s generous volunteers travel the state to recognize centenarians, to make sure their voices and experiences are honored.

Helmuth presented each of the honorees with a “Golden Okie” pin, along with an angel pin and framed commendation. A group of quilters at Golden Oaks also made a quilt presented to each of the honorees.

THUMBS UP

Last, but not least, thumbs up to a group of Boy Scouts and volunteers who spent their time improving the grounds at Woodring Wall of Honor and Veterans Park, part of an Eagle Scout project for Enid’s Troop 2.

Austyn Neely, 15, a sophomore at Enid High School, organized the project and gathered 10 volunteers recently to install borders around several flower beds and put in posts for signs with information on the Vietnam Memorial Wall.

It is the final requirement Neely needs before going to his final board for Eagle Scout in January.

Neely said the project at the Veterans Park was special to him, because both his grandfathers served in the Army.

Mike Marshall, volunteer program manager at Woodring Wall of Honor and Veterans Park, said that kind of spirit for service is needed to keep the park and the M. L. Becker Learning Center in operation.

For more information about volunteering with or visiting Woodring Wall of Honor and Veterans Park and the M. L. Becker Learning Center, call (580) 233-4530 or visit www.woodringwallofhonor.com.

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