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Oklahoma Volunteer firefighter and CenterPoint Energy employee recognized for community service

 HOUSTON – September 19, 2012 – Jimmy Thacker, a CenterPoint Energy service technician and volunteer firefighter, was recently honored as an outstanding volunteer and Jefferson Award recipient.

The Jefferson Awards are a prestigious national recognition system honoring community and public service in America, presented on both a national and local level.

Thacker spends volunteer time as a Stringtown, Okla. volunteer firefighter, where he has served for almost 10 years and is a safety officer and a trustee of the department. He also has taken more than 300 hours of certified Oklahoma State University firefighting courses over the years.

“I help people in some of the worst times of their lives – a car accident, house fire, medical emergency or a grass fire,” Thacker said. “I like knowing I was not afraid to step up to a challenge and do the best I possibly can. You never know – it might be you in need of a volunteer one day.”

Thacker’s volunteer efforts were jump-started 10 years ago by a personal experience. When his in-laws’ house caught fire, he assisted the responding firefighters and discovered a new calling.

Thacker also puts in many hours for church and school fundraisers and the FFA Skeet Shoot. His most rewarding volunteer experience was a fundraiser he and his wife started, which raised more than $5,000 for a young girl who was bitten twice by a rattlesnake.

“Last year, CenterPoint Energy employees and retirees, along with family and friends, amassed a staggering 235,847 volunteer hours,” said Diane Hasell, Community Relations senior director for CenterPoint Energy. “We’re extremely proud to have generous and compassionate employees like Jimmy who are so willing to serve in their local communities.”

CenterPoint Energy, Inc., headquartered in Houston, Texas, is a domestic energy delivery company that includes electric transmission & distribution, natural gas distribution, competitive natural gas sales and services, interstate pipelines, and field services operations. The company serves more than five million metered customers primarily in Arkansas, Louisiana, Minnesota, Mississippi, Oklahoma and Texas. Assets total more than $22 billion. With over 8,800 employees, CenterPoint Energy and its predecessor companies have been in business for more than 135 years. For more information, visit the company’s website at CenterPointEnergy.com.