Foyil Fire District getting more fire hydrants

Apr. 27—Fire safety in Foyil just got a boost from the Cherokee Nation.

Councilman Kevin Easley presented rural Foyil Fire Chief Randy Atchely a $25,356 check this week so he can buy five new fire hydrants for the rural service area.

Fire Chief Randy Atchley, Foyil Fire Protection District, is thankful for the help.

"When I met Randy [a fellow Cherokee] a year ago during my campaign, I asked him what is the one thing Foyil Fire needs the most. He told me they had been needing rural fire hydrants for years and had never been able to secure the funding," Easley said. "I promised I would do all I could to fix that problem for Foyil. Cherokee Nation remembers rural Oklahoma."

Atchley said had started working [for funds] with Keith Austin, the former Cherokee councilor, on the project. Accepting the check from Easley was the completion of that task. Atchley said the next steps are to purchase the five new hydrants and give them to Rural Water District 3, which will do the installation.

"Locations are picked out, and they will be installing the five water hydrants in areas where there are none now," Atchley said.

Foyil Fire District covers 10 square miles of central Rogers County from East 350 Road east, on the north side to south of East 450 Akin Road, and east to the Rogers/Mayes county line (south 4250) to the west at 4150 Road.

"There will be some out by the Blue Creek area, some north of Foyil on 66 and some just west of Foyil on 400 Road," Atchley said.

Atchley said the district's paid volunteer fire department covers mostly rural farms and small residential developments, including the town of Foyil. The district already had around 30 fire hydrants, but some are not usable, he said.

The district has firehouses in Foyil and in the rural community of Bushyhead.

Atchley, who has been with the department for 38 years, works with a team of 15 firefighters.

"When the people voted in the district in 2000, there was a bond issue passed in 2001 for a new station that bought trucks in Foyil," Atchley said. "[Nearly 24 years later, the area is] starting to get some growth on the southside and it is moving north ... not a major influx yet."

But the Foyil Fire Department is going to be ready, he said.