GRDA helps Tiajuana Fire Department with rescue equipment purchase

Tiajuana – The Tiajuana Fire Department and the Grand River Dam Authority are teaming up to better equip emergency personnel on the south end of Grand Lake.

GRDA Lake Relations Coordinator Lori Starks presents a check to Tiajuana Fire Department Chief Jim Smart. The money will be used to help the department purchase water rescue equipment. Also in the picture are other members of the department, along with GRDA personnel.

On Wednesday (September 5) GRDA Lake Relations Coordinator Lori Starks presented the Tiajuana Fire Department with a check for $2,115.00 to go towards the purchase of water rescue equipment. Considering the department sits lakeside, with Oklahoma’s most popular water destination at its front door, that equipment is a great addition and could be a future life saver.

“There are special life vests, helmets, swim boot and knives,” said Chief Jim Smart. “We will use that in order to execute maneuvers on the lake, to put people on backboards, get them out of the lake safely and stabilize them before we get them out of the water.”

Smart added that the need for such equipment was stressed during a rescue incident a month ago. Through that, he said the department did see how necessary the water rescue equipment would be to execute that type of rescue in the future.

“Without the grant from GRDA we would not be able to afford this equipment,” said Smart. “It’s just not in our budget at this time.”

Better equipment for the department benefits many lake users as well as lake area residents, added Starks. “This is part of GRDA’s overall mission to be a good steward of the lake and we are pleased to be able to help the department in this way.”

The Tijuana Fire Department consists of approximately 20 volunteers (most trained as first responders) covering a five square mile district. The department was started in 1960 and has steadily developed and added equipment over the years. Most of the department’s equipment currently resides in a new station. There are also plans in place to expand into a new building, with extra bays, and an adjacent community center for Tiajuana.

Headquartered in Vinita, GRDA is Oklahoma’s state-owned electric utility; fully funded by revenues from electric and water sales instead of taxes. Directly or indirectly, GRDA’s low-cost, reliable; electricity serves nearly 500,000 homes in Oklahoma and stretches into 75 of 77 counties in the state. At no cost to Oklahoma taxpayers, GRDA also manages 70,000 surface acres of lakes in the state, including Grand Lake, Lake Hudson and the W.R. Holway Reservoir. Today, GRDA’s 500 employees continue to produce the same “power for progress” that has benefited the state for 75 years.

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