LCRA awards $22,456 grant to Karnes County Emergency Medical Services - LCRA - Energy, Water, Community LCRA awards $22,456 grant to Karnes County Emergency Medical Services - LCRA - Energy, Water, Community


LCRA awards $22,456 grant to Karnes County Emergency Medical Services

New medical manikin will enhance training for health professionals

Nov. 1, 2022

LCRA representatives present a $22,456 grant to Karnes County Emergency Medical Services for a medical training manikin. The grant is part of LCRA’s Community Development Partnership Program. Pictured, from left to right, are: Derek Lappe, EMS assistant chief; Casey Ebrom, EMS chief; Margaret D. “Meg” Voelter, LCRA Board member; Garrett Collins, EMS captain; Rick Arnic, LCRA Regional Affairs representative; and Lauran Bienek, EMT.

KENEDY, Texas – Karnes County Emergency Medical Services will purchase a new medical training manikin to help first responders improve patient care, thanks to a $22,456 grant from the Lower Colorado River Authority.

The Community Development Partnership Program grant, along with $5,775 in matching funds from Karnes County EMS, will allow the organization to replace outdated training equipment for first responders with a new lifelike manikin that simulates the human body.

“We have a very antiquated, lower-fidelity manikin that’s every bit of 12 years old,” said EMS Chief Casey Ebrom. “It’s been challenging because we’re not equipped currently with that one piece of equipment that can do everything in one single platform.”

Karnes County EMS, which responds to an estimated 3,000 calls per year, has lacked consistent, hands-on training opportunities close to home. Ebrom said the team has had to travel to conferences and labs in metropolitan areas such as San Antonio, requiring at least three hours of travel round-trip to receive high-quality, hands-on training.

“It’s been difficult, and I would say the frequency of that high-fidelity training has been so low because of those challenges,” Ebrom said. “Whereas now, we will have unlimited access to that technology literally on a weekly basis and hopefully see the results in improving the level of care that we provide.”

The new medical full-body manikin is as close to live patient training as possible, Ebrom said.

“The manikin can provide that real-time feedback for the provider just like in actual patient care,” he said. “It’s invaluable because most agencies don’t have access to this type of equipment.”

In addition to the 23 members of Karnes County EMS who will regularly receive training with it, the manikin also will be available for training to mutual aid partners, health professionals at the local trauma hospital, and members of the police and fire departments.

“We tend to collaborate a lot when it comes to education because we are healthcare for the entire population that we serve,” Ebrom said. “It’s imperative that we train side-by-side and utilize things like this to benefit our providers. I think that’s where we’re going to see the big benefit from this.”

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 lcra.org/cdpp.

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 lcra.org.

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