LCRA awards $25,000 grant to Callahan County ambulance service for new ventilators
Citizens EMS will add two transport ventilators to improve patient care
May 4, 2022
CLYDE, Texas – A $25,000 grant from the Lower Colorado River Authority will allow Citizens Emergency Medical Service, a nonprofit ambulance service based in Clyde, to purchase two needed transport ventilators to offer additional care and potentially save patients’ lives.lcra.org/cdpp.The Community Development Partnership Grant, along with $16,910 in matching funds, will pay for automatic portable ventilators that can promote optimal breathing patterns and automatically deliver oxygen at the appropriate volume. Michal Leddy, director of operations for Citizens EMS, said the new ventilators will allow the first responders to focus on other important aspects of patient care at emergency scenes and during the ride to hospitals. “These ventilators can help improve results in cardiac care, and you can adjust them for situations where someone has nearly drowned – using them to remove liquid from the lungs by adjusting the pressure there,” Leddy said. “Those outcomes are hard to accomplish when using a bag mask,” or a ventilator operated by hand. “It’s not that our people aren’t great, but over the course of 45 minutes, you might be distracted or get busy with other care, and keeping track of giving that breath every six seconds with a manual ventilator can have an impact on how that patient responds.” Based about 15 miles east of Abilene, Citizens EMS responds throughout Callahan County, including to the cities of Clyde, Baird and Putnam. The organization also has mutual-aid agreements with Eastland, Coleman, Brown, Taylor and Shackelford counties. “Currently because we cover such a large territory, any time we have a patient that we’ve had to put under anesthesia or secure an airway or treat for possible cardiac arrest, we have to have more of our providers respond to that scene to help,” Leddy said. “When we’re maintaining the ventilation for that patient manually, that takes the place of another care provider. These new ventilators make it to where some of my employees don’t have to drive out there to the scene, which can be a risk to them and a risk to other drivers, and this change definitely improves the care we can give to patients.” One of the few privately owned nonprofit EMS services still serving rural Texans, Citizens EMS is staffed with eight full-time and five part-time employees. Leddy said the CDPP grant helps Citizens EMS stay current with the newest and best treatments for its patients. “These ventilators have been on our list of equipment that we wanted to get for the last five years,” he said. “We are just ecstatic.” The community grant is one of 36 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.