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Bluebonnet, LCRA award $16,499 grant to Beaver Creek Volunteer Fire Department

0524
 2021


Pictured, from left to right, are: Lori A. Berger, LCRA board member; Joseph Walden, Beaver Creek VFD chief; Gary Kovar, Beaver Creek VFD firefighter; Zechariah Keener, Beaver Creek VFD firefighter; Johnny Sanders, Bluebonnet manager of community and development services; and Ben Flencher, Bluebonnet Board chairman.

A $16,499 grant from the Lower Colorado River Authority and Bluebonnet Electric Cooperative will help the Beaver Creek Volunteer Fire Department purchase new emergency gear for its firefighters.
 
The Community Development Partnership Program grant, along with $4,123 in matching funds, will allow the department to replace aging self-contained breathing apparatus units and purchase portable 5-gallon poly fire tanks that hold water to aid in fighting grass or brush fires. The grant also will help purchase fire-resistant hoods to protect firefighters during emergencies and pagers to quickly notify first responders of an emergency call.
 
“We’re in desperate need of new equipment to protect our firefighters, especially the self-contained breathing apparatus,” Fire Chief Joseph Walden said. “Donations have slowed down and we are unable to make these purchases on our own.”
 
Walden said 80 percent of the department’s calls are brush or grass fires.
 
“The poly fire tanks will help us get closer to fires — beyond where a firetruck can take us, and the fire-resistant hoods will protect a firefighter’s head, neck and face from a fire,” he said.
 
Beaver Creek VFD supports a community of about 1,500 in Beaver Creek and an additional 10,000 in surrounding areas.
 
“The population is increasing,” Walden said. “I see more mobile homes moving into the community and that means more people, more calls, more emergencies and the need for more equipment.”
 
New pagers will replace a phone tree system to notify firefighters of calls more quickly.
 
“It’s a more effective and reliable way to communicate,” Walden said.
 
The community grant is one of seven grants being awarded by Bluebonnet and the LCRA through LCRA’s Community Development Partnership Program, which helps volunteer fire departments, local governments, emergency responders and nonprofit organizations fund capital improvement projects in LCRA’s wholesale electric, water and transmission service areas. The program is part of LCRA’s effort to give back to the communities it serves. Bluebonnet Electric Cooperative is one of LCRA’s wholesale electric customers and is a partner in the grant program.
 
Applications for the next round of grants will be accepted in July. More information is available at lcra.org/cdpp.

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