LCRA awards $23,633 grant to El Campo Emergency Medical Service

New emergency equipment in command vehicles will allow EMS personnel to provide better patient assessments, treatment before ambulance arrives

Dec. 8, 2022

LCRA representatives present a $23,633 grant to the City of El Campo to outfit EMS command vehicles with new emergency response equipment. The grant is part of LCRA’s Community Development Partnership Program. Pictured, from left to right, are: Denver Penner, El Campo EMS captain; Stephen F. “Steve” Cooper and Margaret D. “Meg” Voelter, LCRA Board members; Garret Bubela, EMS director; Alexandria Medrano, EMT; and Kate Ramzinski, LCRA Regional Affairs representative.
EL CAMPO, Texas – The City of El Campo will outfit its three emergency medical service command vehicles with new emergency response equipment, thanks to a $23,633 grant from the Lower Colorado River Authority.

The Community Development Partnership Program grant, along with $5,908 in matching funds from the city, will provide automated external defibrillators, wireless vital signs monitoring kits and rapid response kits for all three command vehicles.

“We often are listening to dispatch when we are home, and if we think we can get to a call for help before the ambulance, then we go,” said EMS Director Garret Bubela, who has been with El Campo EMS for 16 years. “However, when we are the first ones to arrive on the scene in our command vehicles, we only have basic bandage supplies and oxygen. Now, we will be able to have information on a patient’s vital signs to provide paramedics when the ambulance arrives.”

The three command vehicles will now carry EKG monitors that will measure a patient’s heart rate and rhythm, oxygen supply and other critical information, as well as an automated external defibrillator, oxygen and equipment to monitor vital signs.

“One of our command vehicles doesn’t even have an AED, so outfitting all three of these vehicles will allow us to get critical assessment and treatment equipment to the patient’s side more quickly on every call,” Bubela said. “Additionally, having vital signs monitors means we won’t have to stop managing airways or giving oxygen while we check vital signs. Plus, the monitoring system can stay with the patient from the time we make contact with them until they arrive at a hospital.”

El Campo’s EMS has about 45 full-time and part-time employees to cover western Wharton County, which includes about 20,000 people living in mostly rural areas. The EMS calls have been increasing because the area’s population is growing, Bubela said.

“There were a lot of homes built this year, and more subdivisions and more people will mean more calls,” he said. “The grant also will allow us to buy emergency medical technician rapid response kits to help us respond to events with multiple patients, which we’ve already seen with car accidents on a smaller scale. The goal is always to put ourselves in a position to deliver the best possible care to residents and patients who need our help.”

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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