Kentucky Power awards $61,160 AEP Foundation grant to Letcher Co. firefighters
Kentucky Power presents a $61,160 AEP Foundation grant to Letcher County volunteer fire departments.

WHITESBURG, Ky. – Kentucky Power on Thursday awarded a $61,160 American Electric Power (AEP) Foundation grant to Letcher County’s eight fire departments.

The grant will be used to purchase 40 sets of turnout gear for Colson, Cumberland, Gordon, Kingscreek, Letcher, Mayking, Neon and Sandlick fire departments. Each department will receive five new sets of the personal protective equipment and will contribute $2,035 for boots, helmets and gloves. The local contributions combined with the AEP Foundation grant will fund new gear totaling $77,440.

“Our local fire departments are a vital part of our communities and often are staffed with volunteers who have full-time jobs, too” said Kentucky Power President Brett Mattison. “They are responding to more and more dangerous situations and have limited funding to replace essential equipment. This grant expresses our gratitude for the critical job they do every day and the value they add to our communities.”

Mike Amburgey, chief of the Sandlick Volunteer Fire Department, said in the grant application that National Fire Protection Association regulations require new gear every 10 years. The rise of methamphetamine use has contributed to the need for new equipment more frequently than in the past, he said.

“We respond to more meth-related fires than anything else,” Amburgey said. “When we are exposed to the toxins of these drug labs, our turnout gear becomes contaminated and must be replaced.”

Speaking on behalf of all Letcher County fire department and the Letcher County Fiscal Court, Judge Executive Terry Adams thanked Kentucky Power for the “much needed grant.”

“This grant will replace some of the old, worn out turnout gear with brand new state-of-the-art gear for every fire department in Letcher County,” Adams said. “This will allow our county firefighters to remain better protected from cancer-causing agents, while they better protect the citizens of Letcher County. The grant will have a positive impact not only on our county firefighters, but also all citizens of Letcher County. Better-equipped fire departments offer better protection. Without the help of Kentucky Power, this opportunity would not have been possible.”

The AEP Foundation is funded by AEP and its operating companies, including Kentucky Power. AEP Foundation grants are not tracked for recovery from customers through rates. The Foundation grants focus on improving lives primarily through education in science, technology, engineering, math and the environment and by supporting basic services, such as shelter, housing, health, safety and hunger. In awarding grants, Kentucky Power gives priority to organizations serving 168,000 customers in 20 eastern Kentucky counties served by Kentucky Power.

Kentucky Power presents a $61,160 AEP Foundation grant to Letcher County volunteer fire departments.

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