LCRA awards $22,931 grant for safety, rescue gear to Eula VFD
New breathing gear, inflatable rescue equipment will help in emergency responses
May 12, 2023
CALLAHAN COUNTY, Texas – A $22,931 grant from the Lower Colorado River Authority will help the Eula Volunteer Fire Department purchase new protective gear for its firefighters and an inflatable rescue bag that can lift more than six tons to free people who are trapped.lcra.org/cdpp.The Community Development Partnership Program grant, along with $7,644 in matching funds from the Eula VFD, will pay for four new self-contained breathing apparatuses (SCBAs) that supply compressed breathable air and keep firefighters from inhaling noxious fumes during emergency responses. The department also will add a rescue air bag that can lift roughly 13,000 pounds so first responders can gain access to injured people and move them to safety. Fire Chief Roy Galinak said the Eula VFD’s new self-contained breathing apparatuses will replace 20-year-old units that are outdated, hard to maintain and repair, and can limit training opportunities for firefighters. The new units will not only offer better protection for the firefighters using them, the 15-year warranty covering the new SCBAs will ease financial strains on the department, Galinak said. Eula VFD serves a 140-square-mile area of Callahan County in West Texas. Interstate 20 crisscrosses Callahan County, which had a population of 13,708 residents in the 2020 U.S. Census. “We’ve needed new SCBAs for six years now,” Galinak said. “When I broke the news about the grant to the department, they were ecstatic. They were so happy to hear that the hard work we put in for this grant was well worth the effort.” The air rescue bag can be quickly inflated with an air canister and will aid first responders at the scenes of motor vehicle accidents and other emergencies, Galinak said. “We’ve had instances of people setting up a mobile home and being pinned when it fell off the jacks,” he said. “In the past, we have sometimes had to wait for mutual aid to arrive. Now, we will have the capability to start a rescue operation.” The addition of the new SCBAs and the lifting bag also sends a positive message to the residents of Callahan County and current and future members of the Eula VFD, Galinak said. “They see us outfitting our guys with these new SCBAs and getting a new lifting bag, and they know we’re invested in the community,” he said. “If someone moves into the community and has an interest in joining our department, they know we’re putting thought into our purchases and buying the best equipment we can afford.” The community grant is one of 34 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 July. 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 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.