Treatment Depends on Power that Never Quits

Location: Elkhorn City and Ashcamp, Kentucky, United States

Customer Business Issue: Standby Power

Solution: Cat® D250 GC diesel generator set and Olympian™ D125-6 generator set

Cat Dealer: Boyd Cat


The Cat® D250 GC diesel generator set is part of a new line of standby power solutions from Caterpillar, configured with an optimized mix of common features, that offers excellent customer value by delivering performance with a minimal footprint.



Providing a wide spectrum of health and human services in both residential and outpatient environments, WestCare Foundation is a family of tax-exempt nonprofit organizations operating in 19 states and three U.S. territories.

For more than 35 years, WestCare has specialized in helping people traditionally considered difficult to treat, such as those who are indigent, have multiple disorders, or are involved with the criminal justice system. Services include substance abuse and addiction treatment, homeless and runaway shelters, domestic violence treatment and prevention, and mental health programs.

WestCare operates six locations in Kentucky, including two treatment centers in the Appalachian region of eastern Kentucky—an area that has experienced a high rate of opioid and methamphetamine addiction.

When it opens, the Judi Patton Women and Children Center in Elkhorn City will allow women with substance abuse issues to seek help and recovery and also bring their children with them while they stay there. The facility is located in the former Lookout Elementary School that sat vacant for 17 years until undergoing an extensive renovation. While the facility is ready for occupancy, the opening has been delayed due to complications from the coronavirus pandemic.

In the nearby town of Ashcamp, the Hal Rogers Appalachian Recovery Center is a therapeutic residential program for men struggling with alcohol or drug abuse. The average stay is 110 days. The center offers more than just peer counseling. Along with GED classes, parenting classes and cognitive behavior counseling, it provides work. Clients perform maintenance on the grounds, tend a large garden near the facility, and keep chickens and ducks. All the food raised at the center is eaten by the clients and staff. They also participate in community projects and perform yard work for seniors and churches.

WestCare Kentucky Regional Administrator Stephen Wright believes the center gives clients a sense of purpose.

“Schedules and structure are part of their treatment,” said Wright. “Often, an addict loses that. Their world is upside down. Here, their days are structured. We try to give them life skills, sometimes more than they have ever had before.”

Both facilities are required to have a source of backup power. It’s particularly important in a region where power from the grid is not always reliable.

“Given the rural location, sometimes the grid can be a little sketchy,” said Jeramy Salyers, deputy administrator for Fitzhouse Enterprises, a property holding company that oversees all WestCare facilities. “When they get a heavy snow or some other weather event, they’ll lose power for a little while. I’ve seen them lose power for two weeks at a time from a bad storm.


When a previous backup generator set experienced a permanent failure at WestCare’s Ashcamp treatment center in 2010, Salyers contacted Cat® dealer Boyd Cat.

Boyd Cat quickly made arrangements for the installation of a 125 kW Olympian™ D125-6 generator set produced by Caterpillar, which powers the kitchen along with lighting the 31,000 square-foot facility and providing heating, ventilation and air conditioning to the gymnasium. In an emergency, all residents are moved to the gym.

A transfer switch automatically activates the generator when there is an outage, which typically occurs five to six times a year.

“The technicians from Boyd take care of everything for us, including periodic maintenance,” said Salyers. “I know if I get a call that says Boyd Cat on my phone that there’s a problem, but I never hear anything about it because the equipment rarely fails.”

To provide backup power to the new Elkhorn City facility, WestCare selected a Cat D250 GC diesel generator set. The generator set was recommended by a local engineering firm that designed and installed it.

Because WestCare is a nonprofit that receives the majority of its funding from government sources, Salyers needed to come up with a cost-effective standby power solution. Todd Breahm, president of Elliott Contracting in Pikeville, Kentucky, was quick to recommend a Cat generator set.

“We’ve always had a good experience installing Cat generators, and we have a longstanding relationship with Boyd Cat that is built on trust,” said Breahm.

The new Cat GC generator sets are targeted for general standby applications including hospitals, agriculture, municipal infrastructure such as pump stations and water treatment plants, small commercial enterprises, and small- to medium-sized office buildings.

That Cat GC generator sets are certified by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency for Stationary Emergency Application, and include Caterpillar’s customary two-year warranty for standby power solutions. Manufactured in Seguin, Texas, Caterpillar engineers the Cat GC lineup with common parts to minimize downtime, reduce installation costs and simplify maintenance.

“Customers with standby power needs are seeking systems with an optimized combination of capabilities that deliver the productivity and dependability they need while minimizing purchasing and installation costs,” said Jason Kaiser, general manager for Caterpillar Retail Electric Power Solutions. “The new Cat GC diesel generator sets have been specifically engineered to offer these customers Caterpillar performance in a valuable package that provides the most commonly specified capabilities.”

When the new Cat D250 GC generator set was installed at the Elkhorn City facility, a Boyd Cat representative did a walk-through with Salyers, showing him how to operate the controls and pointing out its capabilities.

“It’s a state-of-the-art piece of equipment,” said Salyers. “Actually, I was very surprised at the cost. I thought it was going to be quite a bit more than what it was.”


As a nonprofit organization with far-flung operations, WestCare looks for affordable, dependable equipment solutions to meet its needs.

“As a nonprofit, we look for stuff that is bulletproof and takes care of itself so we don’t have to worry about it,” said Salyers. “For our weekly startups, the Boyd technicians come out and set up the generator sets to start up at the same time every week. It starts itself up, does its test and shuts itself off.”

Boyd Cat provides WestCare with a turnkey service that includes all maintenance, repairs and fuel treatment.

“We don’t have to touch it,” said Salyers. “They do the fuel treatments and all the testing and make sure that everything is good to go. As a nonprofit, they have been very vital in helping us with our mission, and their workers are just really nice people.”

Elsewhere, WestCare operates three Cat generator sets supplying prime power in a mountain camp setting outside of Las Vegas that is not connected to the grid. Two more Cat GC models will be installed in the summer of 2020 at WestCare locations in Florida.

“We choose to go with Cat generator sets because of their reputation for quality and dependability,” said Salyers. “It’s the Cadillac of engines and longevity is important.”

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