History - Then and Now

Sand Springs HistoryThe Sand Springs Fire Department (SSFD) was founded in 1913 when Town Marshal, Robert Fleenor, was elected Fire Chief of the Sand Springs Volunteer Fire Department. In March 1913, the bucket brigade was replaced with 500 feet of hose purchased by the city. Charles Page donated another 500 feet of hose. 

Chief Fleenor had to unhitch his team of horses from his delivery wagon and hitch to the fire wagon if there was a fire in the town. It is said that after a fire, he would sometimes leave the fire wagon at the scene, as there was no place to actually house it. Chief Fleenor's horses were used for the fire wagon until they were lost when his livery stable caught fire in 1915 due to spontaneous combustion. 

Growth in Numbers

Some of the early records from the Oklahoma State Firefighter's Pension System show that in 1921 the SSFD had one paid firefighter (Chief C.G. Stricklen) with nine on-call firefighters. These firefighters were not employed by the city. Instead, they were paid for each of their responses when fire alarms came in. 

In 1922 the department had two companies with ten volunteer firefighters and one paid firefighter. The city hired its second paid firefighter in 1923. In 1928, the city hired another full-time firefighter bringing the total to three. This additional firefighter was lost in 1936 when staffing was cut to two firefighters. 

In 1950, the city had five paid firefighters and thirteen volunteer firefighters. They year of 1957 saw an additional full-time firefighter added to the roster and two more volunteers, bringing staffing to six full-time and 15 volunteer firemen. The SSFD grew to 28 paid firefighters during the tenure of Fire Chief Sam Harvey. The last volunteer firefighters retired in 1985. The last two volunteers were Roy Morrison and William Forsythe.

Fire StationNew Fire Stations

A second fire station was built around 1970 to protect the southern Sand Springs area commonly referred to as Prattville.  In 1981 a new building was erected for Station 1. The original Station 1 was torn down and now the land is the alley between City Hall and the current Station 1.  Planning and Design work is underway to replace both of these stations.

Administration Relocation

Since 2004 the authorized strength of the fire department is three companies responding out of two fire stations, with an administrative staff of three including the Fire Chief, Deputy Fire Chief, and Fire Marshal. In a historic move, Fire Department Administration was relocated into a former attorney's office at 108 East Broadway Street in 2004, as well.  Thus, the fire chief's office was located outside of the central fire station for the first time in 90 years.

Leaders Through the Years
SSFD is now led by Fire Chief Mike Wood, who was hired as a firefighter in December 1996. Mike promoted through the ranks serving as Captain for 11 years before promoting to Deputy Fire Chief in March 2009. Chief Wood assumed the responsibilities of Interim Chief in January of 2011 and became Fire Chief August 2011. Prior to joining the Sand Springs Fire Department, Mike was a firefighter for the Okmulgee County communities of Liberty and Beggs. He received his education from Northeastern Oklahoma A&M College in Miami after graduating from Beggs High School. Mike is a Nationally Registered AEMT, IFSAC Certified Haz-Mat Technician, and a founding member of Oklahoma Task Force One.  Mike is married to Debra Wood, who is also employed at City of Sand Springs; they have three children -  Kristen, Greg, and Aaron. 

Contact Chief Wood

A History of Fire Chiefs

Fire Chief Term
Robert Fleenor 1913-1918
Charles G. Stricklen 1918-1924
C. L. Greer 1925
Charles G. Stricklen 1926
C. L. Greer 1927-1931
J. A. Taylor 1931-1933
Fred Meeker 1933-1936
Leon Parker 1936-1948
Clarence G. Harper 1948-1950
Ray Bachus 1950-1956
J. T. Moore 1957-1959
John T. Williams 1960-1970
U. Samual Harvey 1970-1985
Russell Bartling 1986-1989
Fred Shawger 1989-1994
Wayne Bennett 1994-1997
Bradd K. Clark 1997-2001
Mark S. Joslin 2001-2011
Mike G. Wood 2011-Present