LCRA, Bluebonnet Electric Co-op award $25,000 grant to Maxwell Community VFD

New rescue gear will increase firefighter safety, improve emergency responses

Nov. 28, 2023

LCRA and Bluebonnet Electric Cooperative representatives present a $25,000 grant to the Maxwell Community Volunteer Fire Department for new rescue gear. The grant is part of LCRA’s Community Development Partnership Program. Pictured, from left to right, are: Ambrose Garcia, firefighter; Rick Arnic, LCRA Regional Affairs representative; Alfredo Hernandez, firefighter; David Childress, fire chief; Margaret D. “Meg” Voelter, LCRA Board member; Milton Shaw, Bluebonnet director; Mark Kirk, VFD operations manager and firefighter; Jo Anna Gilland, Bluebonnet community and development services representative, Lockhart area; and Hank Alex, Caldwell County deputy chief of emergency management.

CALDWELL COUNTY, Texas – The Maxwell Community Volunteer Fire Department will purchase new rescue gear to help keep firefighters safer while responding to emergencies, thanks to a $25,000 grant from the Lower Colorado River Authority and Bluebonnet Electric Cooperative. The Community Development Partnership Program, along with $8,230 in matching funds from the department, will pay for 10 new sets of bunker gear, with each set including a jacket, pair of pants and suspenders. “Our current gear is nearing expiration and is almost out of service,” Fire Chief David Childress said. “It’s important that we update our gear to keep our first responders safe.” The gear provides protection against smoke, heat, water, steam and direct flames and is worn when responding to structure fires, car fires and other emergencies. Bunker gear is custom fitted to the person wearing it, so most of the firefighters in the department will receive a new set of gear. “Using newer gear builds confidence in our firefighters because they feel a little safer as they enter structures,” Childress said. “When you enter a structure fire with older gear, you get second thoughts.” He said having newer gear will give firefighters peace of mind as they work to protect the public. “Our community is growing rapidly, so we need better gear to keep up with the growth and keep people safe,” Childress said. “With this gear, we will be better equipped to preserve lives, properties and structures.” Maxwell Community VFD serves the community of Maxwell and provides emergency services to Caldwell County Emergency Services District #2. It also provides mutual aid to surrounding counties and districts. The community grant is one of 45 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 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.

About Bluebonnet
Bluebonnet Electric Cooperative is one of the largest electric cooperatives in Texas and has been serving its members since 1939. Bluebonnet serves more than 128,000 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 X, formerly known as Twitter.

Media contacts:

LCRA: Clara Tuma 512-578-3292
[email protected]

Bluebonnet: Will Holford 512-332-7955
[email protected]