OTTOWA COUNTY, Okla. — A newly designed pension plan for public safety employees is being called a first of its kind in Native country. It was approved this month by the Quapaw Nation’s Business Committee.

Officials say it matches or rivals the pension plans of other emergency personnel across the state of Oklahoma, and will help the tribe better recruit and retain first responders.

“We’re very big in public safety. We’re very supportive of it, and this, you know, allows us to provide a service to our tribal members, and not only our tribal members, but the citizens of Ottawa County and the citizens that live inside our reservation. You know, we want them to feel safe and know that if they have to call 9-1-1, you know, they’re getting a quality service coming to their door,” said Zack Turley, Quapaw Nation Business Committee Member.

Officials say the pension plan has been in the works for the past year and a half.