LCRA, PEC award $25,000 grant to Horseshoe Bay Fire Department

New extrication tools will improve rescue efforts at emergency scenes

Representatives from LCRA and Pedernales Electric Cooperative present a $25,000 grant to the City of Horseshoe Bay Fire Department for new rescue tools. The grant is part of LCRA’s Community Development Partnership Program. Pictured, from left to right, are: Stephanie Black, assistant fire chief; Beth Koennecke, PEC external relations representative; Ben Miller, captain; Doug Fowler, fire chief; Jason Blackmon, lieutenant; Margaret D. “Meg” Voelter and Carol Freeman, LCRA Board members; Brett Hutchison, firefighter; Jared Fields, PEC external relations representative; Leroy Bowles and Thad Martin, HBFD engineers; Jeff Koska, city manager; Kurt Goshen, firefighter; Susan Patten, LCRA Regional Affairs representative; and Diana Gonzales, PEC external relations representative.
HORSESHOE BAY, Texas – A $25,000 grant from the Lower Colorado River Authority and Pedernales Electric Cooperative will enable the City of Horseshoe Bay Fire Department to purchase new and improved rescue tools.

The Community Development Partnership Program grant, along with $7,530 in matching funds from the fire department, will help the department replace an outdated hydraulic-powered set of tools with new battery-powered extrication tools that are more reliable and easier to use at emergency scenes. The new tools, including a spreader, cutter and ram, will enable both of the department’s primary fire engines to carry up-to-date extrication equipment.

“I thought I was going to have to use all of my equipment budget until we received this grant,” said City of Horseshoe Bay Fire Chief Doug Fowler. “It’s helping our department get to where we need to be with the growth in our area.”

The tools are used by first responders to free people trapped in vehicles or other dangerous spots they can’t escape.

“I was doing a presentation to the city council for the upcoming budget year when the city manager stopped, looked at his phone and said we had been awarded the CDPP grant,” Fowler added. “Some of my directors joked, ‘You should have seen your face!’ I was pretty excited.”

The City of Horseshoe Bay’s 26 firefighters respond to calls within the city, including along Lake LBJ. The department also has automatic-aid agreements with the cities of Marble Falls, Granite Shoals and Cottonwood Shores and provides mutual aid to other nearby areas.

“The City of Horseshoe Bay is roughly 14 square miles, but when you take into account State Highway 71, there are thousands of cars going by at 70 mph, and that’s where we have the really bad accidents,” Fowler said.

Over the winter, Fowler said, the department underwent extrication training led by a retired San Antonio firefighter who detailed the best practices for using new battery-powered rescue tools. Now, that knowledge can be put to use.

“We’re very excited because we know how good these tools are and we can’t wait to use them,” Fowler said.

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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