Local fire department receives funding for new fire trucks

Photo caption: Members of the Cherry Grove Volunteer Fire Department, Representative Bert Jones and representatives of Congressman Mark Walker, Caswell County and Piedmont Electric gather to celebrate the closing of $95,000 in zero-interest loans to the Cherry Grove Volunteer Fire Department. Attendees in photo (From left to right): Susan Cashion - Vice President, Chief Compliance and Administrative Officer at Piedmont Electric, Nate Hall - Caswell County Commissioner, Bryan Miller – Caswell County Manager, Jerome Malloy – Representing Congressman Mark Walker, Cy Vernon - Piedmont Electric Board of Directors, David Poythress - Piedmont Electric Board of Directors, Steve Long - Piedmont Electric Board of Directors, Representative Bert Jones, Chief Derek Watson – Chief at Cherry Grove VFD, Kenneth D. Travis - Caswell County Commissioner, Rick McVey - Caswell County Commissioner, Steve Hamlin - President and CEO of Piedmont Electric, Brandon Reed – Manager of Member Services and Public Relations at Piedmont Electric, Randy Kinley - Piedmont Electric Board of Directors, Sam Woods - Piedmont Electric Board of Directors, David Owen - Caswell County Commissioner

The Cherry Grove Volunteer Fire Department received a $95,000 zero-interest loan to pay for two fire trucks. Piedmont Electric Membership Corporation is playing a supporting role in these purchases by facilitating this loan funded from the United States Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Rural Economic Development Loan and Grant (REDLG) program revolving loan fund.

These two fire trucks will provide both the surrounding communities and fire department with increased fire protection and reliability. The 1996 rescue engine has a 1,000-gallon booster tank and the 1992 pumper tanker features a 1,500-gallon dump valve. Both trucks are equipped with 1,250 gallon per minute pumps which are vital to efficiently fighting fires and saving lives and property. These fire apparatuses were purchased nearby from Boonsboro Volunteer Fire and Rescue in Virginia.

“These apparatuses are crucial to our department and the people who live in and travel through our district every day,” Chief Derek Watson stated. “Creating a more reliable rescue with water and firefighting capabilities in addition to providing more equipment on scene will add to the betterment of Cherry Grove and surrounding communities.”

The funds for the two trucks 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. This is the first loan made from Piedmont Electric’s USDA REDLG loan program that is from paid back funds or “revolved”. 

“Piedmont Electric is proud to support this project,” said Steve Hamlin, President and CEO of Piedmont Electric. “The cooperative was created to support the community. This USDA zero-interest loan program allows us to support our communities far beyond our electric service. This first loan from the revolving loan program truly showcases how these funds can strengthen our local community organizations for years to come.”

In the past five years, Piedmont Electric has secured more than $10 million in USDA funding within Caswell, Alamance, Orange, Durham and Person counties for fire trucks, fire stations, ambulances, schools and a library. 

Piedmont Electric is a local, member-owned, not-for-profit electric cooperative serving more than 32,000 electric accounts in Caswell, Alamance, 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, assistance to members, grants to educators, advocacy for energy issues, community involvement and emergency preparedness support. Visit www.pemc.coop for more information.