Local fire department wants another chance


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Reported by: Sara Whaley
Updated: 2/02 6:36 am Published: 2/01 10:34 pm


Since a local volunteer fire department shut down, some residents say safety is on the line and help isn't coming fast enough.

The Oakhurst Fire Department closed three months ago and now Berryhill and Sapulpa are responsible for covering the area.

FOX23 spent time at the Berryhill Fire Department Saturday, with details on what residents say the problem is.

Former members of the Oakhurst Fire Department said their station needs to be reinstated and that the bigger departments are taking up to 20 minutes to respond to their community.

However Berryhill Fire Department said that's not the case and they used specific documents to prove it.

FOX23 got our hands on those documents and is revealing what we learned.

Two teens were fighting for their lives and unknowingly bringing a community together in support.

FOX23 spoke with Mike Blancett, a former member of the Oakhurst Fire Department, who told us about the two teens, "head trauma and all of these broken bones."

These boys were T-boned at an intersection on the Oakhurst-Berryhill line.

Records show both Berryhill and Sapulpa responded.

But former members of the Oakhurst Department say it took more than 15 minutes.

"While those two young gentlemen were pinned. That's ridiculous," said Blancett.

Berryhill Fire says otherwise.

They even gave me a copy of records for proof.

"The call they are actually referring to took us seven minutes to respond," said Gary Bullock, member of the Berryhill Fire Department.

Oakhurst says they have proof too.

"I can get all the paperwork that you need. Our response time was five to seven minutes," said Blancett.

But three months ago, officials shut the Oakhurst Fire Department down.

Main reason the city's department was closed, because its crew wasn’t trained to the superior level of other departments.

"All of our members are required to train 20 hours a month and 240 hours a year," said Bullock.

Oakhurst fire members understand.

They told me, they aren’t asking to be in charge but they are asking to at least be on the scene.

"To help because we are volunteers and because this is our town," said Blancett.

Some in the community agree:

"I feel like Oakhurst should have our fire department," said one Berryhill resident.

But others, including the father of 17-year-old Bobby Clayton, aren't so sure.

FOX23 asked residents, "Do you feel the Oakhurst Fire Department still needs to be here or do you think we are doing OK without it?"

"Want me to be honest? I feel we are doing OK without it. I really do," said Bullock.

Oakhurst was split between three departments: Tulsa, Berryhill, and Sapulpa, when the Oakhurst department closed.

Berryhill firefighters assured us the people living in Oakhurst are as important as those living in their own jurisdiction.



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