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Edmond mayor thankful after wildfires

Editor's note: Edmond Mayor Patrice Douglas writes an occasional column for The Oklahoman's Edmond/State section.
BY PATRICE DOUGLAS Published: September 1, 2011

At some point in my sons' lives, they both wanted to be firefighters. Who could resist the big red trucks, the sirens and the excitement?

As residents of Edmond, we know firefighting is much more than that. A quality fire department and a quality public safety system do not happen by accident. It takes investment by citizens and well-trained staff to be ready when emergencies happen.

Two weeks ago, we had serious wildfires in Edmond.

The Edmond Fire Department has 118 firefighters and four support employees. We have five stations strategically located throughout the city. Main operations are at Covell Road and Interstate 35, which include training facilities, the Children's Safety Village and many other core functions of the department.

Chief Gil Harryman and his staff work to educate our community about fire safety as well as keep our firefighters trained and our equipment in top condition.

The city of Edmond has highly professional personnel, along with top-notch fire equipment. With a dedicated sales tax passed in 2000, the city has added 38 new people and new equipment to keep up with the needs of a growing Edmond.

In early August, the fires grew out of control both east and west of I-35, destroying 10 homes and damaging three others.

The damage could have been much greater, but the quick and consistent response minimized property damage.

No lives were lost, and no residents were injured. What a testament to our fire department, and the rest of our public safety team, including the communications and police departments.

Thank you to these heroes who work for Edmond in our city's fire department. Thanks also to our unsung heroes in emergency communications, the water department, police force and others who help keep Edmond safe.

We say thank you to employees who work year round to keep Edmond listed among Oklahoma's safest cities.


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