The White Cross Volunteer Fire Department recently received a $165,000 zero-interested loan from Piedmont Electric Membership Corporation to help pay for their new 2008 tanker truck and equipment. The funds were loaned as part of USDA’s Rural Economic Development Loan & Grant (REDLG) program.
The larger, 2,000-gallon pumper tanker will aid the department in responding to a predicted increase in emergency calls each year as Orange County’s population is estimated to increase by 43.67 percent by 2030, according to the Orange County Planning and Inspections Division.
“There are multiple benefits the larger pumper tanker provides the fire department and our citizens,” Chief Jamal P. Nasseri stated. “It increases the amount of initial water at a fire emergency, carries more equipment and is also a safer vehicle for our fire fighters.”
This new fire truck will also allow the department to maintain their level 5 Insurance Service Office (ISO) rating. This ISO rating helps determine insurance rates for homeowners in the area. A lower ISO rating means lower homeowners insurance rates.
“We are always proud when we can support a project that improves one of our communities,” said Steve Hamlin, Piedmont Electric President and CEO. “Working with fire departments gives us the unique opportunity to invest in economic development in our service area while also making our community a safer place to live.”
In the past four years, Piedmont Electric has secured more than $9 million in funding within Orange, Alamance, Caswell, Durham, and Person counties for fire trucks, fire stations, ambulances and schools. As the funds are repaid they are re-loaned to assist with future projects in communities served by Piedmont Electric.