Most of Big Cabin Fire Department resigns after City Council kills proposed aid agreement

Big Cabin volunteer firefighter shares why he stayed when everyone else left

BIG CABIN, Okla. — Nearly all the Big Cabin Fire Department resigned this week after city councilors voted against an automatic aid agreement between the city and the Vinita Fire Department.

The agreement would have allowed both departments to be notified of emergencies at the same time so they could help each other if necessary.

Seven of eight employees, including the chief and assistant chief, resigned in response.

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Currently, because Big Cabin’s fire department is volunteer, it only has two to three people available to respond to emergencies. They said that doesn’t meet OSHA standards but the Vinita agreement would have helped the department get there.

The employees resigned because they said Big Cabin firefighters are not safe without the deal. They are hopeful City Council will reconsider.

Kevin Oakley, the remaining firefighter says he made the decision to stay because his community needed him. That’s why he decided to become a firefighter in the first place.

Oakley says although some resignations don’t go into effect immediately, he says he is working to move forward. He says they are unable to act as a fire department right now with one volunteer remaining. For now, he says other nearby departments are there to aid during emergencies

He says right now he has been actively working to get the department rolling again. Oakley says he already has four applications and says they need at least six firefighters to function again. He hopes that day is soon.

Oakley says it’s unfortunate, there could be a fire right across the street, and he couldn’t do anything about it and it’s not right, he wants to get the department running again.