A total of $54,000 in funding was handed out during the event. The department was among 13 South Texas volunteer fire departments and emergency response organizations to receive checks.
State-wide, employees of Koch companies, including Flint Hills Resources, Koch Pipeline Company, L.P., Optimized Process Designs and Matador Ranch delivered checks worth more than $80,000 to 36 organizations. The checks ranged from $500 to $25,000.
“Summer is a critical season for volunteer fire services and emergency responders, especially here in South Texas where we have very hot and dry conditions,” said Larry Van Horn, vice president of operations for Koch Pipeline Company. “We recognize that it’s vital these departments be equipped to handle emergencies. Many of the communities where we do business rely heavily on volunteer fire departments. This is our way of saying ‘thank you’ for all of your hard work.”
In recent years, Koch companies nationwide have contributed more than $1 million, including plans for grants totaling more than $200,000 in 2012, to support volunteer fire departments and local emergency responders in communities where the companies own or operate manufacturing facilities, mills, pipelines and ranches.
“We are very aware that three-quarters of the firefighters in our state are voluntarily putting their lives on the line to save other lives and protect property,” said Phil Gaarder, vice president of manufacturing for Flint Hills Resources. “Some of our own employees volunteer for these departments. It was an honor to be able to hand these departments some funding that we know is critical.”
According to the State Firemen’s and Fire Marshals’ Association, there are 30,000 volunteer firefighters in Texas. Of the 1,919 fire departments in the state 1,490 of them are volunteer departments.