As wildfires continue to plague Oklahoma, including several grass fires reported in Pottawatomie County on Wednesday, the Tecumseh Fire Department has a new tool to help them fight grass fires in heavily wooded areas.

As wildfires continue to plague Oklahoma, including several grass fires reported in Pottawatomie County on Wednesday, the Tecumseh Fire Department has a new tool to help them fight grass fires in heavily wooded areas.

The Tecumseh Fire Department has received a utility vehicle (UTV) and skid unit valued at $23,299 through a grant from the Firehouse Subs Public Safety Foundation.

Since the department serves a large rural area at risk for wildfires, the equipment will allow firefighters to provide life-saving assistance and fire suppression in areas impassable by traditional emergency vehicles.

Tecumseh Fire Chief Aaron Williams said the UTV has already proven its ability and will be a useful tool.

“Many of our wildland fires end up in heavily wooded ares where our larger brush pumpers cannot access,” Williams said. “This allows firefighters to extinguish fires that otherwise they would have to do with hand tools and on foot.”

Continuing its mission of supporting hometown heroes, Firehouse Subs Public Safety Foundation celebrated $155,291 worth of life-saving equipment grants awarded to seven local public safety organizations on Thursday, including the Tecumseh Fire Department and Seminole Fire/EMS.

“Our department is extremely blessed to have received funding from Firehouse Subs Public Safety Foundation,” Williams said. “With most of Oklahoma experiencing drought conditions, this year’s wildfire season has already proven to be a challenge. The UTV has already been used to place firefighters deep into areas where full size firefighting vehicles cannot reach a wildland fire; limiting firefighter fatigue and property damage. We are very appreciative of the award.”

As part of the grants, the Seminole Fire Department /EMS received an inflatable rescue boat worth $14,186. The awarded boat will be used in swift water rescue missions during flood emergencies, allowing first responders to reach victims easier and faster.

“It’s truly amazing to be a part of events where much equipment is donated to first responders and organizations in need,” said Firehouse Subs Senior Manager of Foundation Development Meghan Vargas. “These equipment grants shed light to just how far small guest contributions can go.”