OKLAHOMA CITY – Wednesday, State Reps. Chris Sneed (R-Fort Gibson), Avery Frix (R-Muskogee and House Majority Leader Mike Sanders (R-Kingfisher) met with rural fire chiefs from Muskogee and Cherokee counties in Muskogee.
“We discussed issues facing our rural fire departments and firefighters,” Sneed said. “This included a discussion on the need for a cost-of-living adjustment through their state pension plan, other issues surrounding pensions, recruitment and retention, aging equipment, ways to attract younger volunteers and more. I was happy to help facilitate this meeting as we look at ways we as lawmakers can support our rural fire departments.”
Frix, who has run legislation the past few years to give firefighters and other state retirees a COLA, said today’s discussion was productive. “This gives us a better grasp of the issues facing our rural firefighters and their needs as they work to protect lives and property.”
Sanders said he has spent much of his career as a lawmaker working to ensure the needs of rural fire departments are met. He’s passed several pieces of legislation that have allowed fire departments to recruit volunteers over the age of 45 who do not need to be added to the state’s pension plan.
“I have always been on the side of our rural fire chiefs, and will continue this work to build the ranks of volunteers and to make sure they have what they need to do their jobs,” he said.