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On Dec. 18-20, members of the Broken Arrow and Tulsa fire departments will train together to further develop their working relationships, learn new techniques to possibly save their fellow firefighters, and compare and contrast the equipment used by each department.
Classroom training will be followed by hands-on drills and exercises to test firefighters’ abilities to work together with differing equipment and techniques. Crews will be more prepared to make critical rescues of downed firefighters from each other’s department, if ever faced with a life-threatening situation.
For many years, the two fire departments have worked together in eastern parts of Tulsa and northern parts of Broken Arrow, to ensure that residents of both communities receive prompt and comprehensive fire and emergency medical service (EMS) response.
The Broken Arrow Fire Department (BAFD) has a station located close to the city limits of east Tulsa. The BAFD responds to areas in east Tulsa on fire and medical calls until the Tulsa Fire Department (TFD) is able to reach the incident scene and allow BAFD to return to Broken Arrow. In a reciprocal manner, TFD provides quick fire and EMS response to the areas near Albany (61st) Street and Garnett Road that fall within the City of Broken Arrow.
“Public safety is not an issue exclusive to only our community. I think it’s great that we are making time to identify together ways to provide the safest and most efficient fire and EMS services to our communities,” said Michael Spurgeon, Broken Arrow City Manager. “The collaborative efforts of Broken Arrow Fire and Tulsa Fire show that we can accomplish more for our citizens by working together.”
Both departments receive credit from the Insurance Service Office (ISO) for their automatic response to their neighbor’s jurisdiction. The ISO credit results in lower insurance premiums for property owners in both communities.
In 2018, the cities renewed their commitment to the automatic and mutual aid relationship of the departments. The renewed agreement added an additional component that the Tulsa Fire Department would also provide Tulsa fire trucks, if available, to the City of Broken Arrow during significant incidents that depleted BAFD’s fire trucks.
The continuation of the departments working together emphasizes the need for regular training. Earlier this year, the Tulsa Fire Department crews attended an introductory training session at Broken Arrow Fire Station 6. This week BAFD crews will be at the Tulsa Fire/Tulsa Community College Regional Fire Training Center with the same crews from east Tulsa fire stations.
“Developing a strong working relationship with all of our fire department neighbors and conducting regular training will provide even greater levels of safety and service for our citizens and firefighters,” said Broken Arrow Fire Chief Jeremy Moore. “Being proactive and working together on a daily basis will help all of us act in harmony, should an unthinkable disaster affect any of our communities."