Koch companies across the U.S. have contributed nearly $543,000 to date in 2014 in grants and in-kind donations to 107 fire departments in communities where the companies operate. The grants are earmarked for equipment and training for these organizations that help keep communities safe.
“Many Koch company employees serve as volunteer firefighters, playing an important role in keeping their communities safe, and we are proud to offer our appreciation and support in return.”
Contributing Koch companies include Flint Hills Resources, Georgia-Pacific, INVISTA, Koch Nitrogen Company, Koch Pipeline Company, Matador Cattle Company and Molex.
“We recognize the commitment to protecting communities that firefighters demonstrate each day. Our contributions are aimed at supporting and equipping these men and women who put themselves in harm’s way,” said Jim Mahoney, executive vice president of operations excellence and compliance. “Many Koch company employees serve as volunteer firefighters, playing an important role in keeping their communities safe, and we are proud to offer our appreciation and support in return.”
Company grant programs include:
- Georgia-Pacific Bucket Brigade™ awarded $235,500 in grants across 50 fire departments this year. Since the program’s launch in 2006, more than $1.5 million has been granted to fire departments across 30 states to meet critical needs. The program also provides free fire safety educational materials.
- Through their Helping Heroes program, Flint Hills Resources and Koch Pipeline Company awarded $137,300 to 30 fire departments across 17 Texas counties to support response needs and capabilities in local communities where the companies operate. The two companies began the Helping Heroes program in 2012 to provide grants to Texas fire departments and emergency responders, donating a total of $340,000 for training, education, equipment and emergency notification needs.
Equipment donations include:
- In July, INVISTA donated five sets of TECGEN® protective gear to the Douglas County Fire District #5 in Mansfield, Washington. This small, all volunteer department in a rural farming community was helping battle a wildfire that had burned more than 300,000 acres in slightly more than one week.
- Koch Pipeline Company has donated approximately $50,000 in hazardous material equipment to the Fond du Lac Fire Department in Wisconsin. The department will use these assets not only in the City of Fond du Lac, but in the surrounding counties.
- Flint Hills Resources Pine Bend refinery in Rosemount, Minnesota, has donated a $30,000 kitchen fire prevention trailer to the Dakota County Fire Chiefs Association. The trailer is one of just a handful of its kind in the nation and will be used to demonstrate the dangers of a kitchen fire, which is the most common type of blaze in the United States.
Flint Hills Resources gave scholarships to more than 90 firefighters from communities where it has operations to attend industrial fire training at its Pine Bend refinery in Minnesota. FHR Pine Bend also provides a free multi-faceted training center near the refinery designed for law enforcement tactical units, military personnel, and first responders. In Iowa, Flint Hills Resources has donated funds to the fire departments in Arthur, Buckeye, Clarksville, Fairbank, Ida Grove, Menlo, New Hampton, Odebolt, Plainfield, Shell Rock and Stuart.
- Matador Cattle Company’s Matador Ranch in Texas made donations to the fire units in Roaring Springs, Matador, Dougherty and Flomot.
- Koch Nitrogen Company supported the City of Beatrice Fire Department in Nebraska, Wolsey Fire Department in South Dakota, and the Green Mountain Fire & EMS in Iowa. In addition, the company helped fund the Enid Fire Department Training Tower at the Autry Technology Center in Oklahoma.
- The Aurora Fire Department in Illinois and Grafton Fire Department in Massachusetts received donations from Molex.
The cost to train and equip a firefighter is more than $27,000. According to the National Fire Protection Association, there are approximately 1 million firefighters in the United States; more than half are volunteers protecting small communities. In 2013, fire departments responded to a fire every 25 seconds.