Firefighters concerned about training program cuts

(Silver City-AP) -- Firefighters are concerned about recent cuts
to the Oklahoma State University Fire Service Training program.
The Oklahoma State Regents for Higher Education have cut the
one-point-two (M) million-dollar program to about 500-thousand
dollars.
O-S-U spokeswoman Natalea Watkins says the university is working
with the chancellor for higher education, state regents and the
Legislature to restore the funding and continue the program through
2004.
Silver City Assistant Fire Chief Bill Beall says there must be
funding in order to provide fire protection in rural areas.
If the cuts aren't restored, training could be affected for
volunteer firefighters.
Beall says a reduction in training may also impact insurance
rates in the area.

(Copyright 2003 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)