LCRA awards $25,000 grant to Oakridge Volunteer Fire Department

New 4,000-gallon water tank and emergency equipment will enhance department’s response

LCRA representatives present a $25,000 grant to the Oakridge Volunteer Fire Department for a new water tank and emergency equipment. The grant is part of LCRA’s Community Development Partnership Program. Pictured, from left to right, are: Brenda LaVergne, VFD auxiliary member; Deanna Jeske, VFD auxiliary secretary; Jean Stipelcovich, Robert Busto, Karen Huegele and Nalen Busto, VFD auxiliary members; Aubrey Walton, firefighter; Stacey Freudenberg, VFD auxiliary member; Kate Ramzinski, LCRA Regional Affairs representative; Ricky Konvicka, firefighter; Douglas Jeske, VFD president; Paul Bennett, firefighter; Mark Prasatik, assistant fire chief; Margaret D. “Meg” Voelter, LCRA Board member; Vernon Wallace, firefighter; Gary LaVergne, VFD treasurer and secretary; Wayne Wolfford, fire chief; and Bert Stipelcovich, Judy Wolfford and Hugh Wilson, firefighters.
WEIMAR, Texas – The Oakridge Volunteer Fire Department will outfit its new firetruck with a 4,000-gallon water tank and new emergency equipment with the help of a $25,000 grant from the Lower Colorado River Authority.

The Community Development Partnership Program grant, along with $24,650 in matching funds from the VFD, will enable the department to double the amount of water it can take to the scene of a fire.

“There are no fire hydrants in our community, so we have to bring water sources with us when responding to fires,” VFD President Douglas Jeske said. “Being able to transport a large amount of water to a scene is crucial.”

The Oakridge VFD currently has two water supply trucks. One carries 1,650 gallons of water and the other carries 750 gallons, allowing a total of 2,400 gallons of water to be transported at a time. The department’s new water truck will replace the smaller 50-year-old truck.

“We are going to go from 2,400 gallons available to 5,650 gallons, which is more than doubling our supply,” Jeske said. “We’ll be able to improve our fire protection abilities without the fear of the older truck and accessories failing on scene.”

In addition to the water tank, the Oakridge VFD will equip the new truck with pumps, hoses, equipment storage bins, sirens and lights.

“The addition of this equipment will help the department be better equipped to combat fires and keep the community safe,” Jeske said.

The Oakridge VFD serves the Oakridge Ranch community and surrounding areas. The department also provides mutual aid to Weimar, Rock Island, Sheridan and Oakland.

The community grant is one of 44 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.

Contact Info

Clara Tuma, Public Information Officer
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After hours: 512-944-6719