July 10, 2013
Koch companies, including Flint Hills Resources, Georgia-Pacific, INVISTA and Koch Pipeline Company, plan to contribute a total of nearly $300,000 in 2013 to volunteer fire departments and local emergency responders in communities where the companies operate. The grants are earmarked for equipment and training for these organizations that provide critical services to keep communities safe.
According to the National Fire Protection Association, 70 percent of firefighters in the United States are volunteers. Most volunteer firefighters (94 percent) are in departments that protect communities with fewer than 25,000 people and more than half are located in areas with fewer than 2,500 people. In the U.S., a fire department responds to a fire every 23 seconds.
“Koch companies appreciate the dedication and bravery of volunteer firefighters and first responders,” said Jim Mahoney, executive vice president of operations excellence and compliance. “Their service to America’s small towns and rural communities – many of which are home to a Koch company – is vital. They play an important role in keeping their communities safe and we are proud to offer our thanks and support in return.”
Recently, INVISTA made a cash donation to the National Fallen Firefighters Foundation to help support the families of the 19 firefighters who died on June 30 while trying to contain the wildfire near Yarnell, Ariz. In addition, to help the Prescott Fire Department rebuild, INVISTA will provide the department with 20 sets of the company’s TECGEN XTREME® protective gear for wildland and technical rescue operations.
Through the first half of the year, Flint Hills Resources and Koch Pipeline Company have committed a total of nearly $140,000 to emergency response organizations in communities where the companies have operations. The grants will help support the efforts of these organizations that rely almost entirely on donations.
In addition to contributing funds, Flint Hills Resources provides regular fire training to its mutual aid partners in Rosemount, Inver Grove Heights, Hastings and Eagan, Minn.; and firefighters in Minneapolis and St. Paul, as well as in Longview, Texas. The company also provides a free multifaceted training center near its Rosemount refinery designed for law enforcement tactical units, military personnel, and first responders.
“We also have a number of Koch company employees who serve as volunteer firefighters. Our contributions are aimed at supporting and equipping these local heroes who put themselves in harm’s way to keep communities safe,” Mahoney said.
Georgia-Pacific annually awards grants totaling more than $100,000 to community fire departments in the U.S. through its Georgia-Pacific Bucket Brigade™ program. Since the program’s launch in 2006, more than $1 million has been granted to rural and small town fire units across the United States to meet critical needs, and provide fire safety educational materials to schools.