We need a backup

A storm last Thursday evening plunged most, if not all, of the Oklahoma Panhandle into darkness. The power went out at about 8:30 p.m. and was off until about 2 a.m. on Friday.

During that time, the county, and I assume much of the Panhandle, was a sitting duck.

I drove the streets at 9 p.m. as the last fading ray of sunlight was stealing away from the western sky.

It looked odd to see Love's and Shell unlighted and no trucks at the pumps.

Every home was dark except for an occisional flashlight.

The halls of Cimarron Memorial were dimly lit...the hospital has an emergency generator. The Cimarron County Courthouse was dark; even the dispatchers office. There was at the immediate time, no way to communicate from the Sheriff's Office, to emergency services, fire police or ambulance, except by phone.

The county was a sitting duck.

Had the storm brought tornadoes, fires, traffic accidents or destruction by straight-line winds, emergency services would have needed a phone tree to be cognizant.

An emergency generator was finally obtained, and one small 12-volt two-way mutual aid radio was turned on. The Sheriff's Office could then talk to Highway Patrol Troopers in the field. Any connection beyond that was by tele-type from the Troopers cars to the Guymon headquarters, and back.

Fifty years ago in Cimarron County, this grade of emergency communications was standard operating procedure. It was all we had.

Today, it's unacceptable.

The courthouse needs an emergency generator with enough power to furnish the dispatcher with communications. Your life, the lives of those you love, might depend on it.

Boise City News
P.O. Box 278
105 W. Main Street
Boise City, Oklahoma 73933-0278
Phone: 580 544-2222
Fax: 580 544-3281
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