Efland, NC (April 21, 2017) – Efland Volunteer Fire Department received a $103,000 zero-interest loan from Piedmont Electric Membership Corporation to help pay for 26 new, life-saving Self-Contained Breathing Apparatus (SCBA) Air Packs.
“This loan is more to help the community than anything,” expressed Captain Shane Cannada. “The new air packs increase protection and time for the firefighters, and increased time allows for more lives and property to be saved.”
The Efland Fire Department was in dire need of new breathing equipment as firefighting industry standards have changed since they last purchased air packs in 2005. These new SCBA Air Packs increase the amount of time firefighters can remain in a smoky environment.
Instead of their original 15-20 minutes of air, the firefighters can breathe easy knowing that they now have 30 minutes of working oxygen. In addition, the new SCBA Air Packs show detailed information about the amount of oxygen remaining in minutes to both the individual firefighter and their chief.
The funds were loaned by Piedmont Electric as part of the United States Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Rural Economic Development Loan and Grant program (REDLG). The program provides zero-interest funds to local electric cooperatives who in turn lend the money to local entities for projects that support rural areas.
“Piedmont Electric is proud to support this project,” Piedmont Electric President and CEO Steve Hamlin said. “The cooperative’s structure was created to support the community. This zero-interest loan program allows us to support our communities far beyond our electric service.”
In the past three years, Piedmont Electric has loaned more than $4.9 million within Person, Alamance, Caswell and Orange counties for ambulances, fire trucks, fire stations and schools. As the funds are repaid they are re-loaned to assist with future projects in communities served by Piedmont Electric.
Piedmont Electric is a local, member-owned, not-for-profit electric cooperative serving more than 31,000 electric accounts in Alamance, Caswell, Durham, Granville, Orange and Person counties. Piedmont Electric exists to serve our members and improve the quality of life in our communities through local employment, economic development, business engagement, youth education, grants to educators, advocacy for energy issues, community involvement and emergency preparedness support. Visit www.pemc.coop for more information.