LCRA, City of Brenham award $19,840 grant to Brenham Fire Department
New dual-purpose rescue gear will better protect firefighters as they respond to emergencies
Dec. 6, 2021
BRENHAM, Texas – The Brenham Fire Department will replace 40 sets of outdated wildfire and technical rescue suits, thanks to a $19,840 grant from the Lower Colorado River Authority and the City of Brenham.
The Community Development Partnership Program grant, along with $4,960 in matching contributions, will allow the department to buy new, lighter gear that will provide additional protection for emergency responders.
“The 10-year-old traditional firefighting suits we have are heavy and cumbersome, and they are not designed to wear while extricating people from a wrecked vehicle,” said Roger Williams, a firefighter and interim fire chief for the Brenham Fire Department. “This new personal protective equipment is certified for use in both wildland fires and rescue responses. The suits are lighter, individually fitted and will reduce the risk of heat stress and fatigue for our firefighters so we will be better protected and can provide a better service to our community.”
The Fire Department’s calls for assistance have steadily increased since 2009, when there were 404 total responses. In 2020, the department responded to 1,150 calls – a 39% increase from 2019. The Fire Department is a nonprofit organization staffed with both volunteers and full-time firefighters. The department serves Brenham and provides mutual aid to nine other rural fire departments.
Williams said the Fire Department’s service area is mostly rural, with major state and U.S. highways running through it, making wildfires and vehicle accidents the bulk of the department’s calls for assistance. The department also serves as the countywide first responder for vehicle accidents because it has the resources to provide extrications that most rural areas don’t possess.
“We receive a lot of requests for mutual aid because we have a brush truck to help fight wildland fires and a large rescue truck to use in vehicle extrications,” Williams said. “We are so grateful for this grant that will provide critical equipment – for protecting our first responders when they are battling fires and for helping us to provide the best care possible to the people who are depending on us.”
The community grant is one of 32 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. The City of Brenham 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 lcra.org/cdpp.
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 lcra.org.