Altus Fire Chief J.R. Wheeler and Asst. Fire Chief Jimmy Rogers spoke Thursday to the Altus/Southwest Area Economic Development Corp. and discussed the estimated $54,000 economic impact of the two-day event, scheduled August 15 and 16 (motel rooms, $9,000; food, $25,000; shopping, $15,000; fuel, $5,000). They expected 100 to 150 firefighters from five or six states and possibly Canada to participate in the trials that will serve as the state championship, regional championship and a world competition qualifier.
“I anticipate well over 1,000 people. That’s what I hope, and I want them to leave saying, ‘Wow, this is Altus, Oklahoma,’” Wheeler said.
Wheeler estimated a $32,000 total cost to host the event, including a $22,000 appearance fee, and said Dr. Pepper’s corporate office would provide $15,000. He requested funds from EDC for marketing and promotional costs.
“We also have to raise funds needed by our teams to compete. We don’t take any money from the city of Altus, although we are supported by the city by allowing us to compete and allowing us to get people to cover for us,” Wheeler said. “We’ve never been the cause of any overtime and we are not supported by our union.”
Wheeler updated the EDC board on Altus’ two teams’ outstanding record