LCRA, City of San Saba award $50,000 grant to San Saba Volunteer Fire Department

VFD will replace 33-year-old brush truck with new emergency response vehicle

LCRA and City of San Saba representatives present a $50,000 grant to the San Saba Volunteer Fire Department for a new brush truck. The grant is part of LCRA’s Community Development Partnership Program. Pictured, from left to right, are: Michael L. “Mike” Allen and Margaret D. “Meg” Voelter, LCRA Board members; Chris Stewart, fire chief; Scott Sanderson, firefighter and grant writer; Martha Leigh M. Whitten, LCRA Board member; Scott Edmonson, San Saba city manager; and Steve Dyer, LCRA Regional Affairs representative.

SAN SABA, Texas – A $50,000 grant from the Lower Colorado River Authority and the City of San Saba will help the San Saba Volunteer Fire Department buy a new brush truck.

The LCRA Community Development Partnership Program grant, along with $64,387 in matching funds from the San Saba VFD, will allow the department to replace its old brush truck with a new one that can respond to rescue, medical and fire emergencies.

“The brush truck we are using now is a 1991 Dodge that always needs some sort of repair and is in the shop,” said Scott Sanderson, San Saba VFD firefighter and grant writer. “We have spent a lot of money over the years on the old truck just trying to keep it going.”

The department’s service area spans more than 1,100 square miles of a mostly rural area that includes the City of San Saba and outlying areas of San Saba County, Sanderson said.

LCRA General Manager Phil Wilson said it is especially critical for volunteer fire departments in rural areas to have reliable equipment.

“We are so pleased to help buy a new brush truck for the San Saba VFD firefighters to use when they are responding to emergency calls,” Wilson said. “The last thing emergency responders need to worry about is if their vehicle will start or their equipment will malfunction when someone’s life or property is on the line.”

Sanderson said the department’s old truck has experienced electrical problems, as well as problems with the transmission and clutch.

“Trucks made to go over terrain to fight brush fires go through a lot of wear, and we have sometimes waited weeks for replacement parts – if we can even find them,” he said. “We replaced the brake lights and wiring with whatever we could find to make do, and we really don’t know how many miles are on that truck because none of the dashboard panel works anymore.”

Most of the department’s calls are for brush fires, and Sanderson said he and the department’s 26 other firefighters are looking ahead to what may be an active fire season. The department is well aware of the dangers posed by wildfires, and last year battled a large grass fire along with crews from four other volunteer fire departments. The Hamrick Fire took three days to contain and burned about 230 acres of land.

“The old truck has even broken down on the way to responding to calls,” Sanderson said. “It will be a big relief to have a new, reliable truck going to fires or wreck extrications, because we aren’t any help to the people in our community if we can’t get there.”

The community grant is one of 44 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 San Saba 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.

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