Bluebonnet, LCRA award $25,000 grant to Maxwell Community VFD
New rescue gear will increase firefighter safety, improve emergency responses

Bluebonnet Electric Cooperative and LCRA representatives present a $25,000 grant to the Maxwell Community Volunteer Fire Department for new rescue gear. The grant is part of LCRA’s Community Development Partnership Program. Pictured, from left to right, are, Ambrose Garcia, firefighter; Rick Arnic, LCRA regional affairs representative; Alfredo Hernandez, firefighter; David Childress, fire chief; Margaret D. “Meg” Voelter, LCRA board member; Milton Shaw, Bluebonnet Board member; Mark Kirk, VFD operations manager and firefighter; Jo Anna Gilland, Bluebonnet Lockhart-area community representative; and Hank Alex, Caldwell County deputy chief of emergency management.

The Maxwell Community Volunteer Fire Department will purchase new rescue gear to help keep firefighters safer while responding to emergencies, thanks to a $25,000 grant from the Bluebonnet Electric Cooperative and Lower Colorado River Authority.
The Community Development Partnership Program grant, along with $8,230 in matching funds from the department, will pay for 10 new sets of bunker gear, with each set including a jacket, pair of pants and suspenders.
“Our current gear is nearing expiration and is almost out of service,” Fire Chief David Childress said. “It’s important that we update our gear to keep our first responders safe.”
The gear provides protection against smoke, heat, water, steam and direct flames and is worn when responding to structure fires, car fires and other emergencies. Bunker gear is custom fitted to the person wearing it, so most of the firefighters in the department will receive a new set of gear.
“Using newer gear builds confidence in our firefighters because they feel a little safer as they enter structures,” Childress said. “When you enter a structure fire with older gear, you get second thoughts.”
He said having newer gear will give firefighters peace of mind as they work to protect the public.
“Our community is growing rapidly, so we need better gear to keep up with the growth and keep people safe,” Childress said. “With this gear, we will be better equipped to preserve lives, properties and structures.”
Maxwell Community VFD serves the community of Maxwell and provides emergency services to Caldwell County Emergency Services District #2. It also provides mutual aid to surrounding counties and districts.
The community grant is one of five grants being awarded by Bluebonnet and 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 January. More information is available here.