Hillsborough, NC – Moriah Volunteer Fire & Rescue Department can now provide more reliable emergency services with the help of Piedmont Electric Membership Corporation. Piedmont Electric awarded the non-profit fire department a $250,000 zero-interest loan that was used to purchase a new fire truck to add to their fleet.
The funds for the fire truck were awarded as part of an ongoing “revolving loan” program 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 like Piedmont Electric. The cooperatives, in turn, lend money for projects that support rural areas.
The new truck is being used to improve the reliability of emergency response of the Moriah Volunteer Fire Department, which responds to approximately 300 calls per year to Person County and a small portion of Durham County. “Our old truck was aging,” said Bruce Lynch, Fire Chief at Moriah Volunteer Fire Department. “The old truck was built in 1978 and purchased second-hand in 1993. Standards regulate that trucks should be replaced every 20 years as well as possess a diesel engine and air brakes; the old truck had a gasoline engine and hydraulic brakes. It was time for a replacement.”
The new truck, a water tanker, is essential to the safety of Moriah Fire Departments firefighters and the rural communities they serve. The tanker can carry 2,000 gallons of water critical to the safety of rural communities in Moriah’s service area, which often do not have fire hydrants. “We’re proud to support the communities we serve through the REDLG program,” said Piedmont Electric President and CEO, Randy Brecheisen. “Providing zero interest funding for this tanker truck gives us the unique opportunity to support our community and contribute to the safety of this community as well.”
A portion of the funds loaned by Piedmont Electric, once repaid, will be re-loaned to assist with future projects in the Piedmont Electric service area. In 2014, Piedmont Electric delivered more loans, in number and total dollar amount, than any other organization participating in the REDLG program. Many of these loans also went to support fire departments improving the safety of Piedmont Electric’s service area.