LCRA awards $50,000 grant to Water Valley VFD for tanker truck, equipment

New 4,000-gallon tanker truck will boost firefighting efforts throughout large coverage area

May 10, 2022

An LCRA representative presents a $50,000 grant to the Water Valley Volunteer Fire Department for a new tanker truck. The grant is part of LCRA’s Community Development Partnership Program. Pictured, from left to right, are: Stephen C. Floyd, Tom Green County judge; Cooper Hogg, LCRA Regional Affairs representative; Lee Fowler, assistant fire chief; Tom Sexton, Water Valley VFD president; Rick Bacon, Tom Green County commissioner, Precinct 3; Jonathan Martin, fire chief; Chuck Holler, captain; Dana Tipton, firefighter; and Carmen Barber, grant writer.

TOM GREEN COUNTY, Texas – The Water Valley Volunteer Fire Department will be able to sustain its firefighting efforts for longer periods when it purchases a new, 4,000-gallon water tanker truck with the help of a $50,000 grant from the Lower Colorado River Authority. The Community Development Partnership Program grant, along with about $287,000 in matching funds from the department, will allow the VFD to transport more water to fires. This is especially important for the Water Valley VFD, as its service territory does not have any fire hydrants. The department has gotten all it can out of its current, 3,400-gallon water tanker truck, a 1988 model that has been nonoperational for over a year after providing water during hundreds of fires, said Tom Sexton, president of the Water Valley VFD. “The one we have is just worn out – it was tired when we got it used 12 years ago, and has been limping along,” Sexton said. The department has had to rely on other vehicles capable of carrying between 400 and 1,350 gallons of water for its firefighting efforts. Those vehicles run out of water in about 30 minutes or less, forcing firefighters to stop their efforts to control fires to leave and obtain more water, Sexton said. With no fire hydrants in the department’s 179-square-mile coverage area and few in surrounding areas, firefighters rely on a single, stationary water source in the eastern portion of the coverage area. Firefighters have to drive their trucks to the water source, refill and then drive back to the fire to continue their efforts. “Fighting fires is challenging under the best of circumstances, but having to leave to refill water supplies during a fire makes a difficult condition even worse,” said Phil Wilson, LCRA general manager. “The Water Valley Volunteer Fire Department reports it is responding to more structural fires, where vast amounts of water can be used very quickly, and we know the truck will be put to good use immediately.” By having a source of water close at hand, firefighters can stay on-site and get control of a fire more quickly. “The new truck will help firefighters better protect public safety, and we’re pleased to provide this grant to help support both firefighters and area residents and businesses,” Wilson said. Sexton said the department is headed in the right direction with the new truck. “We’ve got a lot of things going on that are going to help us protect this community,’’ he said. 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

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. For more information, visit

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