East Central Energy Vice President/Chief Financial Officer Lisa Prachar and Director Joe Morley, a former firefighter who served 23 years with the Cambridge Fire Department. Photo submitted

A fire department is like a family—one that rallies together to save local lives and protect property.

Over the years, East Central Energy has built great relationships with many local fire departments. Some ECE employees understand this first-hand because they serve as volunteer firefighters.

As in 2020, the pandemic canceled several of ECE’s plans, resulting in budgeted dollars not being spent. Meanwhile, due to increased outdoor activity, fire departments have been busier than ever.

To help the men and women who faithfully serve ECE members, in December 2021 the cooperative donated a total of $96,600 to 23 departments across its 14-county service area.

“Last year, we donated year-end dollars to food programs,” explains VP/CFO Lisa Prachar. “This year, we want to help another group of everyday heroes by lessening their financial load.

Putting on a heavy uniform and running toward a dangerous situation is the definition of bravery. We can’t thank these men and women enough for the valuable service they provide.”

Each of the 23 departments received a surprise $4,200 check in the mail, and were chosen because they are either an ECE member or are surrounded by ECE territory.

The full list of recipients is available at

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