Several upcoming fundraisers are planned to help the volunteer Hickory Hills Fire Department update equipment. The fire department, south of Luther, is in the shadow of the new Kickapoo Turnpike that could open as soon as this year. The department’s number one item on the needs list is a $33,000 piece of modern extrication equipment.
A team roping event will be held at the Choctaw Round-Up Club on August 22; and a huge two-day garage sale is planned on August 28 and 29.
Assistant Fire Chief Lana Youngblood says the new equipment will allow for faster and more efficient help, especially involving helping victims of vehicle accidents.
HHFD is also selling its old ambulance box style rescue unit and one of its old tankers.
“We are hoping with all of these fundraisers, we can raise the money for the equipment. The new turnpike goes right thru our fire district having an entrance and exit ramp on Britton Road. We anticipate having the need for the extrication equipment unfortunately,” said Assistant Chief Youngblood.
For the most part, the new 21-mile turnpike runs through an area of rural, small and/or volunteer fire departments who will be called upon to assist in emergencies.
As a neighboring fire department, Hickory Hills often runs on calls in Luther, especially during the day when volunteers are working their paying jobs. Youngblood hopes the fund-raising events for HHFD will also draw attention to the need for more volunteer firefighters and support for fire departments for all fire departments.
“We are very happy that we are able to mutual aid with Luther and we have personnel available during the day. It is so hard to find people that are willing to put their lives on the line with no compensation,” she said.
Youngblood expects a great crowd for the Team Roping event this Saturday night. There will be food trucks and plenty of entertainment with all proceeds benefitting the fire department.