LCRA, Hamilton County Electric Co-op award $32,464 grant to Lometa VFD

Fire Department will replace outdated Jaws of Life equipment with new battery-powered set

Dec. 8, 2023

LCRA and Hamilton County Electric Cooperative representatives present a $32,464 grant to the Lometa Volunteer Fire Department for new rescue tools. The grant is part of LCRA’s Community Development Partnership Program. Pictured, from left to right, are: Steve Dyer, LCRA Regional Affairs representative; Carlos Garcia, VFD training officer; Mary Garcia, VFD secretary; Thomas “Tom” Griess, VFD treasurer; Margaret D. “Meg” Voelter, LCRA Board member; Cody Lasater, Hamilton County Electric Cooperative general manager; Dusty Duncan, Hamilton County Electric Cooperative board vice president, District 5 director; Phil Wilson, LCRA general manager; Fisher Reynolds, LCRA chief of staff; Michael L. “Mike” Allen, LCRA Board member; and Robert Straley, Hamilton County Electric Cooperative board president, District 4 director.

LOMETA, Texas – The Lometa Volunteer Fire Department will purchase new emergency rescue equipment thanks to a $32,464 grant from the Lower Colorado River Authority and Hamilton County Electric Cooperative. The Community Development Partnership Program grant, along with $8,116 in matching funds from the department, will enable Lometa VFD to replace an outdated hydraulic Jaws of Life set with a new battery-powered model. “Our fire chief bought the current extrication equipment when he started with the department back in the ‘80s,” said Mary Garcia, department secretary. “It still works, but you have to hook hydraulic sets up to motors every time you use them, and those are heavy and bulky.” The department is upgrading its equipment and infrastructure to better serve area residents and the many visitors passing through the area on U.S. Highways 183 and 190. “With the battery sets, you can grab what you need and go,” Garcia said. “They don’t require a separate power source, so you can respond quicker. You aren’t having to haul a set of cutters and a pump, and then having to go back and forth to operate it.” A railroad track divides downtown Lometa, so the department recently added a new fire station on the east side of town. “The Jaws of Life we’re purchasing will be on a truck at the new station,” Garcia said. “That way, if something happens and the tracks are blocked, we still have trucks and extrication equipment available. In the past, our response time would have been slowed down considerably.” LCRA General Manager Phil Wilson said the new Jaws of Life fortifies the Lometa Volunteer Fire Department’s ability to respond to emergency calls and illustrates the department’s commitment to caring for members of the public. “The department is strategically building its resources with the unique needs of the Lometa community in mind,” Wilson said. “These new tools will help firefighters rescue people more quickly and safely in extremely dangerous situations, and I’m delighted LCRA can play a part in helping provide this new equipment.” 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. Hamilton County 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.

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