LCRA, Bluebonnet Electric Co-op award $24,720 Grant to Gay-Mound-Cedar Hill VFD

New specialized breathing equipment will improve response, firefighter safety during structure fires

May 12, 2022

LCRA and Bluebonnet Electric Cooperative representatives present a $24,720 grant to the Gay-Mound-Cedar Hill Volunteer Fire Department for new self-contained breathing apparatus systems. The grant is part of LCRA’s Community Development Partnership Program. Pictured, from left to right, are: Kyle Merten, Bluebonnet community representative, Brenham area; Robert Buchman, assistant fire chief and training coordinator; Kate Ramzinski, LCRA Regional Affairs representative; Ricky Adler, firefighter; Robert Mikeska, Bluebonnet director; Gregory Pecht, firefighter; Curtis Rodenbeck, fire chief; Corey Prestwood, firefighter; Laura D. Figueroa, LCRA Board member; Troy Schroeder, assistant fire chief; Margaret D. “Meg” Voelter, LCRA Board member; and firefighters Jordan Labeth, Michael Parker and Donald Hancock.
WASHINGTON COUNTY, Texas – A $24,720 grant from the Lower Colorado River Authority and Bluebonnet Electric Cooperative will help the Gay-Mound-Cedar Hill Volunteer Fire Department improve its response to structure fires and increase firefighter safety. The Community Development Partnership Program grant, along with $6,300 in matching funds from the department, will allow the VFD to purchase several new self-contained breathing apparatus systems. The department currently is using 15-year-old equipment, and the addition of gear with new technology enhances the department’s ability to provide a safer response. The new gear also will allow more firefighters to actively participate in structure fire responses. “The new air packs have technology that allows a firefighter to activate a personal safety system with a locator that would help us locate and extract someone if they need it,” said Robert Buchman, assistant chief and training coordinator for Gay-Mound-Cedar Hill Volunteer Fire Department. “Additional air packs also mean we can put more boots on the ground to engage in fire suppression because it means more firefighters can be part of the initial attack crew instead of standing by outside the building.” The department serves the communities of Gay Hill, Rose Hill and Mound Hill. It also assists the City of Brenham, Rocky Creek Volunteer Fire Department, Berlin Volunteer Fire Department and other Washington County fire departments as needed. Most of the emergency responses for the department involve mutual aid with other area fire departments, Buchman said. “About 99% of the time, we are either providing mutual aid to nearby departments or we have mutual aid coming in to help us,” Buchman said. “You can’t mix and match equipment from different manufacturers, so buying this additional gear means we will have an ample supply to perform our volunteer firefighting duties safely and effectively.” 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. Bluebonnet Electric Cooperative is one of LCRA’s wholesale electric customers and is a partner in the grant program. 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

About BluebonnetBluebonnet Electric Cooperative is one of the largest electric cooperatives in Texas and has been serving its members since 1939. Bluebonnet serves more than 118,000 meters and owns and maintains 12,000 miles of power lines, located across more than 3,800 square miles within 14 Central Texas counties. Bluebonnet’s service area stretches from Travis County to Washington County, and from Milam County to Gonzales County. For more information about Bluebonnet Electric Cooperative, go to and follow the co-op on Facebook and Twitter.

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