BURNET COUNTY Texas – The Burnet Fire Department will construct a live-fire training tower thanks to a $50,000 grant from the Lower Colorado River Authority to help first responders in the city and surrounding communities better prepare for emergencies.
The Community Development Partnership Program grant, combined with a matching contribution of $60,000, will pay for a training tower to give firefighters hands-on experience and insight into dangers that can occur during a fire.
Burnet City Manager David Vaughn said the city has had to acquire vacant buildings for live-fire training in the past, meaning there was not a reliable schedule for such training and there was no way to control and plan for the hazards the firefighters might encounter.
"Training on a regular basis is incredibly important," Vaughn said. "You want to make sure you're putting the firefighters in a position where they can be physically and mentally prepared and think clearly. This is invaluable training."
Other area fire departments also will be able to schedule live-fire training demonstrations and public education and recruitment events at the training tower.
LCRA General Manager Phil Wilson said LCRA is honored to contribute to a project that will help protect firefighters and the people they serve.
"We value safety above all else, and we're tremendously excited to help the Burnet Fire Department make this facility a reality," Wilson said. "This project is a great example of the values LCRA and the City of Burnet hold dear."
Vaughn said the city is dedicated to ensuring the Burnet Fire Department has the equipment it needs to respond to emergencies, and this commitment is reflected in the department's Insurance Services Office class 2 rating. The new tower could help move the department up to the highest ISO rating, class 1.
"This really is an incredible achievement," Vaughn said. "Being able to have this kind of training tool is one more thing to point to and be proud of."
Another advantage of the training tower is its placement at the wastewater treatment plant, which will allow the use of treated effluent rather than freshwater during training activities.
The community grant is one of a number of grants recently awarded through LCRA's Community Development Partnership Program, which 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.
Applications for the next round of grants will be accepted July 1-31, 2019. 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; providing a clean, reliable water supply; and offering outdoor adventures at more than 40 parks along the Colorado River from the Texas 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