LCRA awards $50,000 grant to Wall Volunteer Fire Department
New fire tanker truck will help department serve growing community
Dec. 10, 2021
TOM GREEN COUNTY, Texas – The Wall Volunteer Fire Department will purchase a new firetruck that will double the amount of water firefighters can take with them to a fire, thanks to a $50,000 grant from the Lower Colorado River Authority.
The grant, along with more than $240,000 in matching funds from the department and other supporters, will allow for the purchase of a 3,000-gallon fire tanker/pumper truck to serve the growing community of 3,500 in the Wall area, along with the other nine volunteer fire departments in Tom Green County, the San Angelo Fire Department, Goodfellow Air Force Base and several counties the department stands ready to assist with mutual aid.
“In our district, we border San Angelo, so we have access to some of their fire hydrants, but we don’t have any hydrants that are actually in our district,” Assistant Fire Chief David McIntyre said. “Our district is 474 square miles, so a majority of that is not even close to San Angelo.”
The new tanker/pumper will allow for water to be transported anywhere the department responds to an emergency.
“The new tanker/pumper truck is a huge blessing,” McIntyre said. “We couldn’t purchase it without LCRA’s funding. With it, we will be able to double the amount of water we can initially carry to a fire, which will make a substantial difference.”
The department’s current tanker truck is nearly 19 years old. As more homes are built in the area, the department is taking proactive steps to ensure it is ready to serve the community as the population increases.
“We have a very supportive community, and we have a lot of new folks moving in,” McIntyre said. “Everyone is building bigger houses and we are also getting more commercial properties in our district. We’re trying to keep up with the growth so we can continue to provide professional services.”
The department currently has 23 volunteers serving on its force.
“Approximately 70 percent of firefighters in the United States are volunteers,” he said. “The satisfaction of helping someone in need, often at the worst time of their life, is the main reason we choose to serve. We want to help, and we want to keep up with our community’s needs. We really appreciate LCRA believing in us.”
LCRA General Manager Phil Wilson commended the department for working to enhance its efficiency and effectiveness as the population quickly grows.
“Members of the Wall Volunteer Fire Department are stepping up to support the community and their neighbors, and LCRA is proud to step up to support them,” Wilson said. “Being able to carry thousands of gallons with them to a fire could be the difference in saving a house or stopping a wildfire from spreading.”
Wilson applauded the department for planning now for future population increases.
“They approach all they do with a mindset of service – service to those who currently live in the area and service to all who will join their community down the line,” Wilson said. “I’m proud that LCRA is able to help them carry out their mission to create a safer place for residents to call home.”
The community grant is one of 32 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 lcra.org/cdpp.
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.