The East Lake Buchanan Volunteer Fire Department hopes to make waves soon – the good kind – thanks to a $24,530 grant from the Lower Colorado River Authority and Pedernales Electric Cooperative.
The grant, along with $6,134 in matching funds, will allow the department to purchase a boat lift for its new fire and rescue boat. The department also will make renovations to a dock donated by neighbors to support the large boat.
East Lake Buchanan VFD recently purchased and rehabbed a surplus Coast Guard boat that will stay on the water 24/7 and allow the department to more quickly respond to emergencies and more easily reach remote areas along the shore.
"The new boat is designed for deployment in heavy sea conditions, and increases officers' ability to deploy safely in the event of rescues in difficult conditions," said Nowell Maluski, East Lake Buchanan VFD president. "The grant allows us to upgrade our dock to support the boat, and the HydroHoist makes it easier to lift and deploy the boat with less manpower."
The boat now is kept at a fire station in Council Creek, which means it is at least 30-40 minutes from the time a call comes in until the boat can be launched on the water to respond to the call. Keeping the boat on the water will allow it to be deployed in five to 10 minutes.
The East Lake Buchanan VFD covers the north end of Lake Buchanan, but has mutual aid agreements that allow it to respond to emergency calls on the entire lake. In some emergencies, such as a fire, the only access to a community may be from the water and the boat could be used as a floating pump station or for emergency evacuations.
The community grant is one of a number of grants recently awarded through LCRA's Community Development Partnership Program. The program provides economic development and community assistance grants to cities, counties, volunteer fire departments, regional development councils and other nonprofit organizations in LCRA's wholesale electric and water service areas. The program is part of LCRA's effort to give back to the communities it serves. PEC is one of LCRA's wholesale electric customers and a partner in the grant program.
Applications for the next round of grants are due Jan. 31. More information is available at
The Lower Colorado River Authority serves customers and communities throughout Texas by managing the lower Colorado River; generating and transmitting electric power; ensuring a clean, reliable water supply; and offering access to nature at more than 40 parks, recreation areas and river access sites along the Texas Colorado River, from the Hill Country to the Gulf Coast. LCRA and its employees are committed to enhancing the lives of Texans through water stewardship, energy and community services. LCRA was created by the Texas Legislature in 1934. For more information, visit