The training center is named after Bob Adrian of Tahlequah, who made his mark in the fire service
June 25 – The Tahlequah Regional Fire Training Center was renamed last week in honor of former fire chief Bob Adrian.
Tahlequah Fire Chief Casey Baker sought approval from city council during a meeting on April 4. He recalled how Adrian saw the need for a place where firefighters could train in a more controlled environment.
“Fire Chief Bob Adrian began working with the Tahlequah Fire Department in 1971. He retired in 2000 with 29 years of service.”
In the late 1980s, Adrian asked then-fire chief Sam Pinson and later Chief Robert Frank if he could seek funding for a training facility.
“They were able to secure funding for a ‘burn tower’ in the early 1990s. This training center expanded to add a skills building, classrooms and many props used to train county firefighters. and state,” Baker said.
The training center has saved the city and county thousands of dollars by providing a local training base, Baker said.
“With Bob’s vision, the training center has made the city and county better trained firefighters and first responders, and made the community a safer place to live,” Baker said. “It is my honour, and with great pride, [to know] the Tahlequah Fire Department helped change the name of this training center to Chief Bob Adrian Regional Fire Training Center.”
Larry Watts, Lowrey VFD Chief, thanked Adrian for his years of service and for being a friend to rural fire departments.
Keys Fire Chief Yogi Cole said he and Adrian go back to when their parents did business with each other
“I had the pleasure of serving with Bob on the Oklahoma State Firefighters Association Board of Directors. Bob served on that board and was elected to Stillwater in 1988, and served five years. He also served on the Oklahoma Firefighters Retirement and Retirement Board during this time,” Cole said.
He explained how Adrian has represented and supported each firefighter throughout their years of service.
“Bob, it’s a pleasure to have you as a friend,” Cole said, as he began to choke.
Cookson VFD Fire Chief Tim Knight said those relatively new to the fire service may not realize how much they have it with all the amenities available to them.
“He wouldn’t have been here if not for Bob, and not just at the county level, but at the state level. He supported the firefighters, represented us beyond our wildest expectations,” Knight said. .
State Rep. Bob Ed Culver, R-Tahlequah, presented Adrian with a citation and echoed the accomplishments of his time as fire chief and board member.
“Now, pursuant to Rep. Bob Ed Culver’s motion, the Oklahoma House of Representatives extends Fire Chief Bob Adrian [a] heartfelt congratulations and orders this citation to be presented,” Culver read.
Adrian thanked those who were there and said it was a trip to see a dream come true to provide firefighters with a state-of-the-art training facility.
“I thought they needed to be prepared before they even got there, so that if they encountered something, they at least had the experience of having been there and knowing what to get into, how measuring it and making it work, how to be safe and get home safe too,” Adrian said.
The Chief Bob Adrian Regional Fire Training Center sign was designed by Drake & Co Sign Services.