Turley Fire and Rescue facing mass resignations, says it could continue

TURLEY, Okla. — For a brief time Thursday afternoon, only one person was at the Turley Fire and Rescue station, and it wasn’t a volunteer.

“I am scared to death,” said Nelson Sager.

Sager is the former chief and current chairman of the Turley Fire Board.

“As of right now, I have six that have resigned out of 12,” he told FOX23.

He said it could get worse.

The resignations began after a community meeting Tuesday. Sager said he wasn’t there for the meeting, but he was told volunteers just started resigning over what was said.

“Something was brought up about the fire department and staffing we have. And probably some issues and it got blown out of proportion,” Sager said.

“I don’t really know what the reason was,” said Turley Community Association Chairman Jason Turley.

He continued, “I feel like if a fire happens, I feel like something might burn to the ground.”

Turley also said the resignations could have come from issues with the department’s conditions. He said he has been trying to reach out to the Turley Fire Board for a meeting since November 2022, but nothing ever happened.

“As of November, the fire chief stepped down from his position,” Turley explained. “And it has left unqualified and minimally trained individuals to help respond to rescues and fires and emergency situations.”

The District County Commissioner Stan Sallee said the departments runs on its own and is not under the jurisdiction or authority of the county.

“If there are any problems or improper operations, it would be a civil matter,” Sallee said. “The county has no jurisdiction over the subscription fire department. In the interm, we have been in contact with Chief Baker with the City of Tulsa. And he assured us fire protection will continue to be given for the district.”

As of Thursday evening, the Turley Fire Department remains in operation.

Sager acknowledged the effort by the Turley Community Association, but he said with the holidays and time off, there was no meeting. He also said he did not think it would lead to resignations.

This is a developing story.