Photo Caption: Members of the Lebanon Volunteer Fire Department, Senator Mike Woodard, Durham County Deputy Fire Marshall Mike Schell, and representatives from Piedmont Electric gather to celebrate the closing of $684,000 in zero-interest loans to the Lebanon Volunteer Fire Department.
Attendees listed from left to right: Piedmont Electric’s VP Susan Cashion, Board of Director Glennie Beasley, Durham County Deputy Fire Marshall Mark Schell, Firefighters Mike Castelloe, Chase Parrott, Chief Travis Clements, Lieutenant Kevin Thorpe, Firefighter Shane Cannada, Captain Brad Allison, Senator Mike Woodard, and Piedmont Electric President and CEO Steve Hamlin.
Durham, NC (June 30, 2017) – Lebanon Volunteer Fire Department received a total of $684,000 in zero-interest loans from Piedmont Electric Membership Corporation to assist with the purchase of two new fire trucks and equipment.
“New fire trucks improve our department’s efficiency which will in turn help our firefighters save more lives,” stated Chief Clements.
These new fire trucks will enhance Lebanon Fire Department’s ability to continue providing maximum coverage with short response times to its fire district. The department responds to an average of 1,020 calls for assistance each year.
The zero-interest loans are being used to replace the department’s 25-year-old and 15-year-old pumper tankers. The new tankers can store up to 3,000 gallons of water and are critical in maintaining Lebanon Fire Department’s Insurance Service Office (ISO) rating at 6. This ISO rating helps lower insurance rates for homeowners in the area.
The funds were loaned by Piedmont Electric as part of the United States Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Rural Economic Development Loan and Grant (REDLG) program. The REDLG program provides zero-interest funds to local electric cooperatives who in turn lend the money to local entities for projects that support rural areas.
“We are proud to support these projects,” Piedmont Electric President and CEO Steve Hamlin said. “Supporting our community is one of our seven guiding principles that we have followed since we founded in 1938. Working with fire departments provides us the unique opportunity to help make our community a safer place to live.”
In the past three years, Piedmont Electric has loaned more than $5.6 million within Durham, Person, Alamance, Caswell and Orange counties for fire trucks, fire stations, ambulances and schools. This is the first REDLG loan to a Durham County fire department. 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.