LCRA, Bandera Electric Co-op award $25,000 grant to Medina Lake VFD

New fill station will allow department to refill firefighter air tanks on-site

Nov. 14, 2022

LCRA and Bandera Electric Cooperative representatives present a $25,000 grant to the Medina Lake Volunteer Fire Department for a new fill station and compressor. The grant is part of LCRA’s Community Development Partnership Program. Pictured, from left to right, are: Kate Ramzinski, LCRA Regional Affairs representative; Ben Hicks, fire chief; Greg Spengler, VFD president; Michael L. “Mike” Allen, LCRA Board member; Charles Robbins, lieutenant; Margaret D. “Meg” Voelter and Carol Freeman, LCRA Board members; Miguel Munez, firefighter; and Kati Fitzpatrick, BEC communications specialist.

BANDERA COUNTY, Texas – A $25,000 grant from the Lower Colorado River Authority and Bandera Electric Cooperative will enable the Medina Lake Volunteer Fire Department to quickly refill critical breathing equipment after emergency calls to keep the gear ready and available for use.

With the Community Development Partnership Program grant and $19,495 in matching funds from the department, Medina Lake VFD will purchase and install a fill station and compressor for the air tanks used with self-contained breathing units firefighters depend on during emergency calls.

The department currently relies on neighboring departments to refill its equipment, which can sometime take days. The new fill station and compressor will allow the department to refill air tanks immediately, which will prevent the equipment from being unavailable for long stretches of time.

“Tanks on the breathing units need to be refilled at the earliest possible time to be ready for the next call,” Fire Chief Ben Hicks said. “We currently have to coordinate with neighboring departments to fill our tanks, which is time consuming for us and them. It also limits our air use for training our own firefighters.”

Hicks said the new fill station means the department will be able to conduct more realistic training using breathing gear, increasing the department’s preparedness and rescue efforts. The department also will be able to refill dive bottles used during water rescues on-site.

Medina Lake VFD serves a growing population in Lakehills and the surrounding communities of Pipe Creek, Mico, Lakeshore and Bandera. Hicks said the equipment will be available to neighboring communities that do not have fill stations.

“This equipment puts us in a full state of readiness, which is huge for our growing community,” he said.

The community grant is one of 46 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. For more information, visit

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