Residents of the City of Roxboro can breathe easy knowing that their community has new safety equipment in place that will improve fire rescue response, thanks in part to the leg work of Piedmont Electric Membership Corporation.
In 2018, the City of Roxboro Fire and Rescue Department received a $100,000 zero-interest loan from the United States Department of Agriculture to help pay for a new air and light truck. Piedmont Electric made this purchase possible by facilitating the loan through the USDA Rural Economic Development Loan and Grant (REDLG) program.
This addition to the City of Roxboro fleet will improve their ability to save lives across 200-square miles and beyond. The new air truck will fill the Self Contained Breathing Apparatuses used by rescue workers on emergency sites. It will also provide a light tower to illuminate emergency scenes for improved fire rescue response. Before the purchase of this air truck, the Roxboro Fire Department needed to return to a fire station to refill their breathing apparatuses before they could complete their job.
“The truck is needed because we have no way of filling our bottles on scene,” Chief Torain explained. “On a medium to large incident, we will exhaust our air and will not be able to return into the structure until we refill the bottles. This air truck will allow us to fill bottles on scene throughout Person County.”
The funds for the air truck came from the revolving loan fund created from repaid USDA REDLG loans facilitated by Piedmont Electric. Payments from organizations who have received REDLG loans managed by Piedmont Electric in the past are placed into this revolving loan fund which allows these federal funds to be re-loaned in our local communities.
“The USDA REDLG program is a unique opportunity for us to be able to support our communities beyond our electric service,” stated Steve Hamlin, Piedmont Electric President and CEO. “We are proud to work with the City of Roxboro and the Roxboro Fire and Rescue Department to improve the quality of life in one of the communities we serve.”
In the past several years, Piedmont Electric has secured more than $10 million in USDA funding within Person, Alamance, Orange, Caswell and Durham counties for fire trucks, fire stations, ambulances, schools and a public library. As the funds are repaid they are re-loaned to assist with future projects in communities served by Piedmont Electric.