BEAVER, Oklahoma (KFDA) - A fundraising event Tuesday afternoon kicked off at The Beaver County Stockyards and local restaurant, Carmen’s Cafe.
The fundraiser is still on-going and their goal is to raise $50,000 for all seven volunteer fire departments.
“In the last three years, we’ve had a lot of fires here. There’s seven fire departments in the county, they don’t have enough money to really operate the way they should be. These guys work their tails off,” said owner of the Beaver County Stockyards Jeff Slatten. “They saved probably 100 houses in the county in the last three years. They’re unbelievably important.”
The Beaver County Stockyards hosted an auction while the county’s firefighters served food at Carmen’s Cafe.
Those profits as well as any other donations made will all go to help the Balko, Beaver, Elmwood, Forgan, Gate, Slapout and Turpin Fire Departments.
“The only way we get money is donations. We don’t get much around here. The economy’s kind of bad right now and it’s hard,” said Forgan Fire Dept. Chief Larry Pell.
“There’s no money left in the community, all the oil fields left and the fire departments are not having enough money to operate,” said Slatten. “So we’ve got to help them a little bit. If they’re going to dedicate their safety to securing our homes and stuff, we need to help them.”
The Beaver Fire Department Chief Jon Elfers said the highest expenses for them are truck repairs.
“We don’t have new trucks, they’re all old trucks, so it takes quite a bit of money to keep them up and going,” said Elfers. “We get 10.4% of the sales tax, but that’s divided up among seven departments in the county, and it probably averages out around $4,500 to $5,000 a year is all we get from our one-cent sales tax.”
The firefighters said the extra support will also help them with fighting fires that require mutual aid.
“We’re trying not to have another Starbuck Fire, so when somebody gets called for a grass fire, we all kind of come and help each other out,” said Pell.
The Beaver County Stockyards plan to host a fundraiser for the fire departments each year.
“Kind of an honor to, you know, have people like that in our county willing to step up for us and help us out,” said Elfers.
The community can also donate to the firefighters at First Security Bank in Beaver.
They ask that all checks be made out to BCFD Fundraiser.