LCRA awards $16,000 grant to ambulance service in Coke County

New heart monitor will help East Coke County Ambulance Service improve care for cardiac patients

Nov. 9, 2022

LCRA representatives present a $16,000 grant to the East Coke County Ambulance Service for a new heart monitor. The grant is part of LCRA’s Community Development Partnership Program. Pictured, from left to right, are: Stephen Salmon, president; Beau Grigg, paramedic; Carol Freeman, LCRA Board member; Everett Bedford, driver; Amy Reeves, incoming president; Cynthia Turner, EMT; Cooper Hogg, LCRA Regional Affairs representative; and Misti Hayes, emergency medical responder.
COKE COUNTY, Texas – With the help of a $16,000 grant from the Lower Colorado River Authority, East Coke County Ambulance Service will purchase a new heart monitor to help improve the quality of emergency care for cardiac patients.

The Community Development Partnership Program grant, along with $21,311 in matching funds from the ambulance service, will pay for a new cardiac monitor that can diagnose symptoms of a heart attack, act as a defibrillator, and perform comprehensive 12-lead electrocardiogram tests. Until now, the non-profit ambulance service’s first responders had to rely on a three-lead cardiac monitor that is much less effective when attempting to diagnose a potential heart attack.

Stephen Salmon, president of East Coke County Ambulance Service, said the 12-lead monitor will help first responders better assess potential cardiac issues. That additional information can be critical since the nearest hospital is in San Angelo, about a 30-minute drive from Bronte.

“We will have the ability to transmit that data, so the hospital is alerted sooner to the patient’s condition,” Salmon said. “If we have a cardiac patient in need, the hospital’s cardiac team will be waiting for us when we hit the door.”

East Coke County Ambulance Service combines with West Coke County Emergency Medical Services to provide emergency care to a 930-square-mile area between Abilene and San Angelo. The county has 3,285 residents according to the 2020 U.S. Census, and a quarter of them are 65 or older.

Salmon said adding the new monitor will benefit patients beyond the upgraded diagnostic equipment.

“We have some local paramedics working out of the county who will come work for us if we have machines so they can practice up to their skill levels,” he said. “This change will attract more certified EMS personnel to the service and result in a higher level of care.”

The community grant is one of 46 grants awarded recently 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.

Applications for the next round of grants will be accepted in January. More information is available at

About LCRA
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 fulfilling our mission to enhance the quality of life of the Texans we serve through water stewardship, energy and community service. LCRA was created by the Texas Legislature in 1934 and receives no state appropriations. For more information, visit

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