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TAHLEQUAH, Okla. (KFOR) – A local tribal nation is contributing nearly half a million dollars to more than a hundred rural fire departments.

The Cherokee Nation announced that it is providing nearly $3,500 to 136 rural fire departments, which normally rely on fundraisers to help their community.

“The service provided by these 136 rural fire departments is, in many ways, immeasurable. The brave men and women who serve on these departments often leave their homes and their families in order to help save the lives or properties of people they have never even met,” Principal Chief Chuck Hoskin Jr. said. “We don’t always see first-hand the wonderful acts of courage and sacrifice they make, but we know firefighters are selfless, and their efforts leave a lasting impression on the Cherokee Nation and the communities in which they live. We owe a debt of gratitude to them, and it is an honor to know the Cherokee Nation is continuing to invest in these departments each and every year.”

The $3,500 can be used to pay for equipment, fuel, or other items needed to protect lives and properties of families throughout the Cherokee Nation reservation area.

“Cherokee Nation has helped tremendously with what they do for the fire departments, the support,” said Whitehorn Cove Fire Chief Jay Stamps. “During COVID, we were having trouble getting supplies and the Cherokee Nation contacted us and asked us what supplies we needed for the safety of our firefighters responding to these calls. I had the stuff the next day.”