LCRA awards $25,000 grant for heart monitor to West Coke County EMS

New portable monitor and defibrillator will help improve emergency care to patients

Oct. 26, 2023

A Lower Colorado River Authority representative presents a $25,000 grant to the West Coke County Emergency Medical Service for a new heart monitor. The grant is part of LCRA’s Community Development Partnership Program. Pictured, from left to right, are: Rebecca McGuire, EMS nurse practitioner and emergency medical technician; Jason Moran, Robert Lee mayor and EMS driver; Houston McGuire, EMS president and EMT; Kim Lewis and Irene Hernandez, EMS board members; Melissa Fletcher, EMS vice president and EMT; Brenda Skinner, EMS treasurer and EMT; Cooper Hogg, LCRA Regional Affairs representative; and Buddy Wallace, EMS board member.

ROBERT LEE, Texas – A $25,000 grant from the Lower Colorado River Authority will enable West Coke County Emergency Medical Service to purchase a new portable heart monitor and defibrillator, elevating the quality of emergency care provided to cardiac patients in this area of West Texas. The Community Development Partnership Program grant, along with $17,720 in matching funds from the EMS, will pay for a cardiac monitor that can diagnose symptoms of a heart attack, alert first responders to heart arrythmias and conduct comprehensive 12-lead electrocardiogram tests. The new unit, which also can be used to restart the heart or restore a heartrate to a regular rhythm, will replace an outdated 3-lead cardiac monitor. “It gives us everything we need, and we can use it with every patient we encounter since it also tracks vital signs like blood pressure, pulse, respiration and oxygen saturation,” said Rebecca McGuire, a nurse practitioner and emergency medical technician with West Coke County EMS. “We’re all very excited and we’re ready to start using it as soon as possible.” West Coke County EMS serves a rural area, and its first responders typically face trips of 35 to 45 minutes to transport patients to the nearest hospital in San Angelo. McGuire said the new cardiac monitor will provide real-time assessments of a patient’s condition, bringing a more in-depth approach to lifesaving care. “We can tell ahead of time if someone is having a cardiac event and treat that person more appropriately before getting to the hospital,” she said. West Coke County EMS works with East Coke County Ambulance Service to provide emergency medical care to a 930-square-mile area between Abilene and San Angelo. The county had 3,285 residents according to the 2020 U.S. Census, and a quarter of them were 65 or older. In 2022, East Coke County Ambulance Service added a new 12-lead cardiac monitor with the help of a $16,000 CDPP grant from LCRA. “These older individuals are often already scared about having to call for an ambulance, but with the community knowing that we provide exceptional care with the most up-to-date equipment, it’s a step in the right direction,” McGuire said. “We’re just very thankful that we got this grant. We’re looking forward to providing better care to the community.” The community grant is one of 45 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.

Media Contact
Clara Tuma
[email protected]