LCRA, Bluebonnet Electric Co-op award $25,000 grant to Lincoln Volunteer Fire Department

First responders in Lee County will get new gear to better protect firefighters responding to emergency calls

June 13, 2023

Representatives from LCRA and Bluebonnet Electric Cooperative present a $25,000 grant to the Lincoln Volunteer Fire Department for new firefighter gear. The grant is part of LCRA’s Community Development Partnership Program. Pictured, from left to right, are: Sherry Murphy, Bluebonnet community representative, Giddings area; Russell Jurk, Bluebonnet director, District 4; Spencer Schneider, fire chief and Giddings city manager; Margaret D. “Meg” Voelter, LCRA Board member; Jared Boriack, assistant fire chief; and Kate Ramzinski, LCRA Regional Affairs representative.

LEE COUNTY, Texas – A $25,000 grant from the Lower Colorado River Authority and Bluebonnet Electric Cooperative will help the Lincoln Volunteer Fire Department provide new bunker and wildland fire gear to keep firefighters safer while responding to emergency calls. The Community Development Partnership Program grant, along with $11,144 in matching funds from the Lincoln VFD, will pay for three sets of turnout gear that will provide optimal protection to firefighters battling structure fires. The grant also will help the department purchase 20 sets of protective outfits for use in fighting wildland fires. “We’re very tickled that we were picked for this grant,” Lincoln VFD Fire Chief Spencer Schneider said. “It’s good to know that LCRA is there for their communities.” Schneider said National Fire Protection Association standards require that turnout gear be retired 10 years from the date of purchase. The addition of three new sets means the Lincoln VFD will have nine NFPA-compliant turnout sets, enough to outfit its firefighters for most of the emergency situations they face in Lee County. The Lincoln VFD provides mutual aid to other volunteer fire departments within Lee County, and the new protective gear “will enhance our firefighting capabilities with our neighboring departments,” Schneider said. “We can provide more manpower on a regular basis.” Schneider, who is in his 10th year as Lincoln VFD fire chief, said last year the department responded to nearly 100 calls, many involving motor vehicle crashes on U.S. Highway 77 or State Highway 21. Those accidents sometimes resulted in roadside wildfires. “Sometimes you come from work to a grass fire and you’re stomping around in nice pants and a nice shirt,” Schneider said. “I’ve been a firefighter for 45 years, and there’s no telling how many boots, pants and shirts I’ve lost battling grass or brush fires. Now, we’ll have better protection for ourselves, and we always want to make sure everyone goes home safely at night.” The community grant is one of 34 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 nearly 125,000 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.

Media Contacts:

Clara Tuma
[email protected]

Will Holford
512-332-7955[email protected]