LCRA awards $19,903 grant to Sabinal EMS for emergency medical equipment - LCRA - Energy, Water, Community LCRA awards $19,903 grant to Sabinal EMS for emergency medical equipment - LCRA - Energy, Water, Community

LCRA awards $19,903 grant to Sabinal EMS for emergency medical equipment

New stretcher will help provide better care for patients, protect first responders

Nov. 8, 2021

LCRA representatives present a $19,903 grant to Sabinal Emergency Medical Services for the purchase of a new stretcher. The grant is part of LCRA’s Community Development Partnership Program. Pictured, from left to right, are: Kate Ramzinski, LCRA Regional Affairs representative; Carol Freeman, LCRA Board member; Juan Martinez, EMS director; Amanda Schmidt, EMS board member; and Doug Smith, EMS board president.

SABINAL, Texas – With the help of a $19,903 grant from the Lower Colorado River Authority, Sabinal Emergency Medical Services will purchase a new state-of-the-art ambulance stretcher that will improve patient care and protect emergency responders.

The Community Development Partnership Program grant, paired with $4,976 in matching funds, will pay for a new hydraulic-powered Stryker stretcher that can be easily raised and lowered. The new unit will replace an aging, unreliable stretcher now used by Sabinal EMS.

Located in Uvalde County, about 70 miles west of San Antonio, Sabinal EMS has 15 employees in its department, about half of them volunteers.

Sabinal EMS Director Juan Martinez said the new stretcher will have extendable sides – or “wings” – making it more comfortable for some patients.

“Overall, it’s just a lot more rugged and dependable stretcher,” he said.

Along with providing more comfort to patients, the new stretcher will mean less stress and strain for Sabinal EMS medics, providing a safer transport experience for both patients and first responders. Martinez said that lifting and carrying stretchers is a prime source of back injuries for first responders.

“I’m happy not to worry about as many back injuries,” he said. “Also, one of the problems we were running into was finding parts for that old stretcher, and the battery charger for it was not working as it should. Finding people to work on it has been a challenge.”

Servicing the new stretcher will be much easier and convenient, Martinez said, and the battery system will charge much more quickly and be substantially easier to replace.

“Everybody’s ecstatic about this new stretcher,” Martinez said. “Finally, we’ve got something that’s dependable. In EMS, there’s already a lot of stress when you’re dealing with people’s lives. You don’t want to worry about your equipment, too. This is one less thing to worry about, and you can wear your uniform with more pride when you arrive at your calls.”

The community grant is one of 32 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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