Joining the Oklahoma State Firefighters Association makes it official for the Quapaw Nation’s Fire and Emergency Medical Services Department, but fact is the tribal organization had firmly established itself as a member of the firefighters brotherhood in 10 years of growth and distinguished service.
Today the Quapaw Nation Fire/EMS became the OSFA’s first Native American-operated member.
“There is a bond, kind of a brotherhood, with all firefighters. So for us to become part of OSFA is very good feeling,” said Jeff Reeves, Public Safety Director for the Quapaw Nation, based in northeast Oklahoma.
“We are extremely proud to announce that the Quapaw Nation Fire/EMS is the first Native American Department to join the OSFA. We are looking forward to this ground breaking relationship,” said Steve Lumry, Executive Director, OSFA.
It caps an extraordinary period of growth and change for the Quapaw Nation’s Fire/EMS and related safety divisions. In 2008, the department had 14 employees and one fire station. Since then, the department has added two state-of-the-art fire stations – one at Downstream Casino Resort, and one in Wyandotte, Okla. – with 33 full-time firefighters/paramedics, three administrators and a fire marshal. Other highlights include:
- Addition of a comprehensive canine program that operates under the Quapaw Marshal
- All in-house training in certified programs
- Expanded investigative capabilities under the Marshal, including fire investigations and fire code enforcement
- A Swift Water Rescue Team that has worked to help flood victims of Hurricane Harvey in summer 2017 (south Texas), and Hurricane Florence in fall 2018 (the Carolinas).
- Joining the Ottawa/Delaware County Wildland Fire Task Force, which works through Oklahoma Office of Emergency Management to assist with wildfire fighting wherever it is needed in the United States.
“We are very proud of the growth and expansion of Quapaw Nation Fire and EMS, and all of the good community service they have contributed both at home and around the country,” said Quapaw Nation Chairman John Berrey. “I congratulate them on joining the Oklahoma State Firefighters Association. We all look forward to continued growth and service together.”