theadanews.com - Ada, Oklahoma

April 15, 2012

Jobs Foundation leads effort to help firefighters

Ada News Staff
The Ada News

Ada — Hard feelings abounded recently when a quarter cent sales tax to fund the capital needs of county volunteer firefighters was narrowly defeated. This was as unfortunate as it was inevitable. There are always two sides to an issue and the one who falls short is bound to not like it very much.

It makes it nearly infinitely worse when the ones who came up short are such great human beings. If there is any endeavor more laudable than that of volunteer firefighter it escapes us as to what it might be.

One thing we learned from the experience is that the need is real. It just isn’t equally real for every volunteer fire department, and that was part of the reason this newspaper could not justify a tax that would equally fund all departments. At least one county fire department admitted it did not need additional funds.

Second, common sense dictates that fire departments in the five municipalities of Ada, Byng, Stonewall, Francis and Roff would not see any increased funding because fire tax proceeds would only serve to replace what they were already getting.

But again, needs in some volunteer fire departments are genuine and Ada Jobs Foundation is spearheading a countywide taskforce to assess and fill capital needs by department. Entities listed as joining the effort are Ada Area Chamber of Commerce, Ada Industrial Development Corporation, City of Ada, Pontotoc County, area businesses, rural water districts, Pontotoc County Firefighters Association, Chickasaw Nation, Pontotoc Technology Center, East Central University, public schools, and municipalities in the county.

We encourage these entities to get together sooner rather than later. While it is important to be thorough in analysis it is also important to get the process started as a way of letting those volunteers who put their lives on the line on a weekly basis know their needs have not been dismissed or forgotten.

— The Ada News