LCRA, PEC award $15,708 grant to Hays County ESD #6


New defibrillators will improve emergency response for Hays County firefighters

LCRA and Pedernales Electric Cooperative representatives present a $15,708 grant to Hays County Emergency Services District #6 for new defibrillators. The grant is part of LCRA’s Community Development Partnership Program. Pictured, from left to right, are: Beth Koennecke, PEC external relations representative; Mikayla Herron, PEC community outreach specialist; Rick Arnic, LCRA Regional Affairs representative; Brittney Garner, fire inspector; Diana Gonzales, PEC external relations representative; Dillon Polk, fire marshal; Margaret D. “Meg” Voelter, LCRA Board member; Chas Humphrey, assistant chief of training; Michael L. “Mike” Allen, LCRA Board member; Scott Collard, fire chief; Todd Colvin, assistant chief of operations; Celeste Mikeska, PEC community relations manager; Thomas Michael Martine, LCRA Board member; and Jason Caldwell, battalion chief.
DRIPPING SPRINGS, Texas – A $15,708 grant from the Lower Colorado River Authority and Pedernales Electric Cooperative will enable Hays County Emergency Services District #6 to purchase new automated external defibrillators.

The Community Development Partnership Program grant, along with $10,855 in matching funds from the district, will buy four new AEDs for emergency-response vehicles at a recently renovated fire station in Driftwood.

The AEDs can quickly restart the heart in the event of cardiac arrest.

“I can’t find the right words to say how grateful we are for these funds,” said Scott Collard, fire chief of the district, which is known locally as North Hays County Fire/Rescue. “We wanted to ensure that our capabilities to provide medical first response from our new station are top notch, and we believe these AEDs will give us a big boost in that regard. We’re very thankful LCRA and PEC saw the same need we did as far as providing that first response to the community.”

Three of the new defibrillators will be placed on firetrucks, and one will be kept at the station for use during walkup emergencies.

“Our plan is to just get a better saturation of our district with AEDs,” Collard said. “Sudden cardiac arrest is an event that can be reversed if you get a defibrillator there quickly, and the way to do that is to get those devices assigned to the firetrucks heading out.”

Thanks to the grant, North Hays County Fire/Rescue will purchase four AEDs instead of the two originally included in the district’s capital budget.

“The grant enabled us to basically double our purchasing capacity,” Collard said. “We’re also able to put them in durable protective cases. These devices get bounced around a bit on a firetruck, but we’ll be assured they are going to work when needed.”

North Hays County Fire/Rescue was created by merging several volunteer fire departments, and the resulting department of more than 100 members includes volunteers and full-time paid employees. Operating out of six stations, North Hays County Fire/Rescue responds to roughly 3,800 calls annually across more than 244 square miles.

“It is a challenge for us to try to keep pace with the growth in our area,” Collard said. “This grant helps us stretch our dollars, and while we hope we never have to use these new AEDs, it’s great to know they’re 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. Pedernales 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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