ABOUT CATOOSA FIRE - What Makes Us Who We Are
The Catoosa Fire Department protects nearly 9500 people in Rogers and Wagoner counties of northeast Oklahoma, with 3 stations. Catoosa, which is located 16 miles east of downtown Tulsa, operates a Combination department, with 10 Career, and a group volunteer firefighters. Our response area covers nearly 35 square miles, which consist of residential, industrial, High Rise buildings, Inland Port Three Major Highways that converge into one point, Railroad and some light agricultural. The city continues to see growth in both residential and Commercial arenas. This growth will continue to challenge and grow our department.
In the early 1900's, an old tale tells of a "woman in black" who was spotted about town prior to various fires. Later, a group of men went in search of the ghostly woman, only to see her vanish as they approached her. It seems her stare had pyromania properties, as it is reported to have caused the fires of the lumber pile for a new drugstore, a store across the street, and the post office.
Whether you choose to believe the phantom pyro tale or not, Catoosa has been plagued by several fires that destroyed much of the business district. The first of these fires occurred in 1929, with the second taking place in 1930. "The timing of these fires is more to blame for the extinction of the town's business district than the actual damage. The country was in the midst of the Great Depression, so once the property and valuables were destroyed, no one had money to rebuild. Many had to move on or take jobs in surrounding areas. The loss of business resulted in other businesses closing and slowly downtown Catoosa began to disappear." "Lightning or faulty wiring or a combination of the two was attributed as the cause of the fire that destroyed the last remaining structures of the original town," in December of 1968. The fire destroyed 5 buildings and threatened another. Fire protection has come a long ways from the days of the city's maintenance man and the only fireman Bailey Barbee sounding a siren for all to come and help douse a fire. It was in 1965 that Mayor Max Corp called upon Dale Lynch to form a Civil Defense unit. This unit was responsible for firefighting and used a building at the McNabb Coal Company for parking the trucks. The year 1971 proved to be a milestone in the evolvement of Catoosa, as the official opening of the Port of Catoosa and the first official ordinance establishing a fire department transpired. Upon creating the "Catoosa Fire Department" a new 500 Gallon Boardman Engine was purchased to compliment the fleet. This also pushed the city to establish the first fire station in an old garage that was owned by B. L. Wilson, located northeast of the current Station 1. Continued growth brought about the construction of Station 1 in 1975, with a four bay addition in 1990. Fire Station 2, named the "Dale Lynch Memorial Fire Station" in tribute to the first Fire Chief, was put into service in 2001. In 2009 we purchase the Central Fire station at 101 N Cherokee. In 2001 the City hired 3 career personnel. We are currently have 10 career staff. Fire Chiefs serving after the founding Fire Chief Dale Lynch, Jerry Rodriquez, Walter Sunny, Michael Hall, and currently Denus Benton. Although equipment has changed and methods and skills are more advanced, the spirit of those who serve remains the same, neighbor helping neighbor. Few Serving Many. - Adapted from History of Catoosa - 1902-2003, Catoosa Historical Society
As times have changed the methods and services the department provides follow suit. The days of just fighting fires has given way to varied skills that help make our mission of controlling and or removing unwanted or unsafe actions to a whole new level.
Services We Provide
The task that firefighters are called upon to perform has changed greatly from the initial beginnings of the fire services. Today firefighters serve in many areas that might seem trivial to some, but to those reaping the benefit it is a much welcomed hand. Below is a listing of some of the things we are called upon to do.
Suppression, considered our main job function, is the task of putting the fire out. Although there are different methods for quenching the flames, our primary means is the use of water. Other means might include extinguishers, application of foam, fuel removal, or simply controlling the fire until it self-extinguishes. Some types of fires we might encounter include structure, cooking, vehicle, brush/grass, and trash.
First response to medical emergencies is becoming our leading call type. Incidents in this category include, medical emergencies, motor vehicle accidents, motor vehicle/pedestrian accidents, lock-in, extrication from buildings or machinery, and rescue from trenches, high angles, water, ice or electrical hazards
Many things we use every day can become very volatile when taken out of their natural state. Controlling these hazards in the initial stages falls in the hands of firefighters. With a staff trained to the levels of Haz-Mat Technician, Operations, and Awareness, we can mitigate most or manage until the proper resources arrive. Examples of haz-mat incidents include flammable gas or combustible liquid spills or leaks, toxic spills or leaks, electrical wiring/equipment problems, and biological hazards.
Part of the commission of the fire service is to not only protect lives, but property also. Service calls include, lock-outs, ring or jewelry removal, water problems, smoke or odor removal, animal rescues, assisting other police or other government agencies, and cover/standby assignments.
Good Intent Call
On occasion we are called to a perceived emergency only to find out it was not an emergency at all, therefore we classify these as "Good Intent". They are sub classified as dispatched & cancelled en route, wrong location, controlled burning, steam or other gas mistaken for smoke, and Haz-Mat release investigation with no Haz-Mat.
False Alarm & False Call
Technology has advanced fire detection and protection, thus saving lives and property before the arrival of the fire department. Technology failures or the abuse of it sometimes lead to false calls. We classify these types as malicious, mischievous false calls, bomb scares, system malfunctions, unintentional transmission of alarm, and biohazard scares.
Severe Weather & Natural Disaster
Catoosa is no stranger to severe weather, and the fire department is called upon when it strikes. Examples of our responses involve, flood assessment, tornado assessment, lightning strike/no fire, and severe weather or natural disaster standby.
Automatic & Mutual Aid
The fire service has long been considered a brotherhood, and it is that bond that brings about a desire to a help one another. Not only do we assist other area fire departments, they too are called upon to assist us from time to time.
The fire service has long been viewed as a brotherhood. It is this brotherhood that creates a desire to help other local departments when they are in need. This help is not just one-way, as these same departments meet our needs when called upon.
We currently have automatic aid with Tulsa Fire Department at the Cherokee Casino, CFD is closer to the Casino however TFD has been contracted by Cherokee Nation Enterprises (CNE) to provide first response services.
We also have an automatic aid area with the Rolling Hills Fair Oaks and Oak Grove Fire Departments.
Mutual Aid is provided to all the departments that surround the Catoosa response area, these departments include, Tulsa, Rolling Hills, Oak Grove, Verdigris, and Limestone.