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Duracell program to donate batteries to equip volunteer firefighters

BETHEL, Conn. — Procter & Gamble’s Duracell brand, in partnership with the National Volunteer Fire Council, on Monday kicked off a national battery donation program. The Power Those Who Protect Us program is designed to help equip the more than 730,000 volunteer firefighters with supplies they need to help power such firefighting gear as flashlights, breathing apparatuses and emergency personnel locators.

“We're inviting communities across the country to join us in helping power those who protect us: our local volunteer firefighters,” stated Volker Kuhn, general manager of North America for Duracell. “With state budgets continuing to tighten, we've heard from some of these men and women that they could use some assistance with [such] resources [as] batteries, and we want to help."

Campaign spokesman and retired NFL quarterback Kurt Warner will be championing the Power Those Who Protect Us program, the companies announced. As part of the campaign, Warner will serve at his local Phoenix-area volunteer fire department, the Wickenburg Fire Department, for a day doing such firefighter training as live fire and rescue exercises and testing equipment.

P&G and the NVFC created the Power Those Who Protect Us program to raise awareness for the needs of these volunteers who donate their personal time and income to protect the community, the companies stated. With the help of consumers, the program goal is to provide 10 million batteries to the 23,000 volunteer fire departments in the United States.

According to a survey conducted on behalf of Duracell, 64% of volunteer firefighters surveyed reported that their department is not sufficiently funded to sustain all areas of operations. As many as 86% of volunteer firefighters reported that they or their families invested their own money in purchasing supplies and/or equipment for their department, with most of them (73%) investing up to $500 per year.

Consumers can participate in the Power Those Who Protect Us program by purchasing specially marked Duracell CopperTop battery packs at retailers nationwide beginning Jan. 31. For every specially marked Duracell CopperTop 10- and 20-pack of AA or AAA batteries purchased, Duracell will donate one or two batteries, respectively. Every department will receive a sizable battery donation, in some cases the equivalent of a year's supply, depending on department size. Consumers can help increase the donation to their local volunteer departments further by directing their battery donation by zip code at Duracell.com/Protect or by visiting Facebook.com/Duracell and clicking on the program tab.

"Volunteer firefighters use batteries for a wide variety of crucial devices, such as personal alert systems, personnel location equipment, communication devices and flashlights," stated Philip Stittleburg, chairman of NVFC. "Funds are tight, so offsetting annual battery purchases provides local volunteer fire departments with genuine value, enabling them to reallocate resources to support the other areas of operation."

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