Tuesday morning, Randolph Electric Membership Corporation and N.C. Fire Commissioner and Fire Marshal Mike Causey presented Robbins Fire and Rescue with an honorary check for $225,000 to assist with the purchase of a new fire truck.
In attendance were representatives from N.C. Insurance Commissioners Office, Randolph Electric executives, including Public Affairs Manager Nicole Arnold, Robbins Town Board, Robbins Police Department and Robbins Fire and Rescue.
Randolph Electric provided a zero-interest loan to Robbins Fire and Rescue for the new truck. The United States Department of Agriculture awarded Randolph Electric a grant for the fire truck through the Rural Economic Development Loan & Grant program (REDLG). The grant is combined with a 20% match from Randolph Electric and loaned to Robbins Fire & Rescue at zero percent interest. As funds are repaid, Randolph Electric receives the payments into its Economic Development Revolving Loan Fund for re-lending on the next project. Moore County’s fire tax paid the other $100,000 for the fire truck.
Randolph Electric, based out of Asheboro, has offices and maintenance warehouse located in Robbins. They service electricity to five counties in North Carolina.
Causey opened his statement by thanking Robbins Fire and Rescue Chief Timmy Brown and the department’s members for making Robbins Fire and Rescue what it is. Causey expressed concern about the need for more volunteers across the state. “Most of the volunteer fire departments are struggling to recruit volunteers and retain volunteers,” said Causey.
“Right behind recruitment and retention is the problem of funding, money. I can’t say enough about the electric co-ops in N.C. and what they have meant to the fire service,” said Causey.
Fred Smith, Randolph Electric VP of economic development and compliance, thanked the Town of Robbins for what they do for the community. Smith told the crowd that Robbins was special because the town was the first to receive a REDLG grant in 2007. The grant was used to help build a plant for a company in Robbins. Since then, this is the second time Robbins used the program to buy fire trucks.
“We’re not just about being an electric provider; we’re about communities. We live and work in these communities,” said Smith.
Robbins Town Manager Clint Mack thanked Randolph Electric for all they do for the town and community.
“There are a lot of jobs that say equipment is required to do the job and complete it, but not every day is there a piece of equipment you can look at and say it’s going to save lives and protect people’s property,” said Mack.
Mack explained this is the second time since he began working for Robbins that Randolph Electric has done something extraordinary. Last year, Randolph Electric’s rural area scholarship program greatly impacted North Moore High School, and this year they have purchased a new firetruck. “Everything we do in the community, they are somehow involved. We couldn’t do what we do without their support,” said Mack.
Mack told listeners that jobs and businesses don’t come to places where they know their property can’t be protected and workers’ lives can’t be protected. This equipment will help firefighters protect businesses every day.
“We know our firefighters are the best. We absolutely know we have the best volunteer fire department, hands down. This equipment matches their efforts, motivation, and training to keep the town safe,” Mack said.
The truck is a Kenworth 3,000-gallon tanker. Tankers are needed, and often used, in rural communities where hydrants and other water supplies may be distant. The newest truck to the Robbins Fire and Rescue fleet was delivered on Jan. 19.
Photo: Robbins Fire and Rescue receives an honorary check for $225,000 for a new fire truck on Feb. 21.
~Article, photo, and video by Sandhills Sentinel Reporter Curtis Self. Contact him at [email protected].