Piedmont Electric Awards $360,000 in Rural Economic Development Loan to Orange Rural Fire Department

Orange Rural Fire Dept. 2014 (1)
Photo caption: (Left to Right) Steve Long (PEMC Director), Paul Bailey (PEMC Board Vice Chairman), David Poythress (PEMC Director), Mike Parker (PEMC Attorney), Kathleen Ferguson (Town of Hillsborough Commissioner), Sam Woods (PEMC Board Secretary), Renee Price (Town of Hillsborough Commissioner), Susan Cashion (PEMC Manager), NC House Representative Graig Meyer, Bill Barber (PEMC Board Chairman), Evelyn Lloyd (Town of Hillsborough Commissioner), NC Senator Valerie Foushee , Earl McKee (Orange County Commissioner Vice Chair), Steve Summey (ORFD Board Member and PEMC Crew Leader), Jeff Cabe (ORFD Fire Chief), Town of Hillsborough Mayor Tom Stevens, Watt Parker (ORFD Lieutenant), NC House Representative Verla Insko, Richal Vanhook (PEMC  Board Treasurer), Will Brooks (ORFD Fireman) and Richard Roberts (PEMC Director).

Hillsborough, NC (October 2, 2014) – Orange Rural Fire Department will have more reliable emergency service in Hillsborough and Orange County with the help of Piedmont Electric Membership Corporation. Piedmont Electric is awarding the non-profit fire department a $360,000 zero-interest loan that will be used to add another fire truck to their fleet.

These funds made available in partnership with the United States Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Rural Economic Development Loan and Grant program (REDLG), which provides zero interest loans and grants to local electric cooperatives (such as Piedmont Electric). The cooperatives, in turn, lend money to local businesses for projects that support rural areas.

The new fire truck, a Sutphen Rescue Pumper Truck, will serve as a first response unit for all fire, rescue and wreck calls that occur within the Orange Rural Fire Department District and the Town of Hillsborough, helping to improve their aging fleet of current fire engines. “This truck has the ability to help us improve our fleet as a whole,” says Fire Chief Jeff Cabe. “We will now have the resources to take some of our trucks out of service for essential repairs, without jeopardizing the safety of our citizens and visitors.”

The truck purchase not only improves the safety of the 64 square mile fire district area, the savings on interest alone will help fund the creation of 2 new positions in the Orange Rural Fire Department district. “We are always proud when we can support a project that improves a community in which we provide electricity,” said Piedmont Electric President and CEO Randy Brecheisen. “Working with Fire Departments gives us the unique opportunity to invest in jobs in our service areas, while also making our community a safer place to live, a picture of everything our cooperative structure represents.”

“We’re excited about the new truck,” Orange County Commissioner Earl McKee commented. “This investment ensures the safety of both our fire fighters and residents, which ultimately makes our community a more appealing place to live.”

A portion of the funds loaned by Piedmont Electric, once repaid, will be added to a revolving loan fund, which will be re-loaned to assist with future projects in the Piedmont Electric service area.