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

New tanker truck equipment will improve firefighting capabilities across Eastland County

LCRA representatives present a $25,000 grant to the Olden Volunteer Fire Department to outfit its new tanker truck with firefighting equipment. The grant is part of LCRA’s Community Development Partnership Program. Pictured, from left to right, are: Cooper Hogg, LCRA Regional Affairs representative; Joseph Pranger, firefighter; Gist Jentho, VFD volunteer; Stephen Forbes, fire chief; Cathy Jentho, VFD secretary and Eastland County clerk; Margaret D. “Meg” Voelter, LCRA Board member; Shane Lavender, assistant fire chief; Elaine Hale, VFD treasurer and firefighter; Michael L. “Mike” Allen, LCRA Board member; Julia Hunter, VFD member; Wesley Collins, VFD president and firefighter; and David Hullum, Eastland County judge.
EASTLAND COUNTY, Texas – A $25,000 grant from the Lower Colorado River Authority will help the Olden Volunteer Fire Department add firefighting equipment to a new 2,000-gallon tanker truck.

The Community Development Partnership Program grant, along with $9,374 in matching funds from the department, will help Olden VFD purchase water pumps, hoses, axes, smoke ejectors, pike poles and other equipment that will enhance the department’s firefighting capabilities.

“These tools are essential to stopping a fire from spreading or rescuing someone who is trapped in a burning structure,” said Stephen Forbes, Olden VFD fire chief. “The new pumps and hoses will get more gallons of water per minute on wildfires and structure fires.”

Olden VFD will purchase the new tanker truck with a grant from the Texas Forest Service, community donations and matching funds from the fire department. The new tanker truck will replace a 1997 Blue Bell Ice Cream truck the department converted to a 1,000-gallon tanker.

The LCRA grant will enable the Olden VFD to upgrade the new tanker from a water supply vehicle to a fully equipped fire engine.

“Time is critical when responding to a fire,” Forbes said. “Having a fully equipped fire engine will allow us to more quickly respond to emergency situations without having to wait for help from a nearby station.”

Olden volunteer firefighters want to serve their community and Eastland County with the highest level of service possible, Forbes said.

The 14-member VFD serves the 31-square-mile community of Olden and provides mutual aid to the other seven fire departments throughout Eastland County.

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.

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Clara Tuma, Public Information Officer
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