LCRA, Pedernales Electric Co-op award $23,727 grant for new battery-operated rescue tools
New easy-to-use equipment will help Hoover Valley Volunteer Fire and Emergency Services respond to emergency calls in Burnet County
Nov. 15, 2021
BURNET COUNTY, Texas – A $23,727 grant from the Lower Colorado River Authority and Pedernales Electric Cooperative will help purchase new battery-operated rescue tools for first responders with Hoover Valley Volunteer Fire and Emergency Services.lcra.org/cdpp.The Community Development Partnership Program grant, paired with matching funds of $8,208, will pay for lighter, stronger and more versatile rescue tools for the department, which responds to calls across roughly 25 square miles of Burnet County. The new tools will replace an outdated set from 2010 and are waterproof, a welcome feature since the department’s service area includes portions of Lake LBJ and Inks Lake. Capt. Marc Talamantez said the department’s decade-old rescue tools must be connected to a motor through long lines because the tools operate through hydraulic pressure. The replacement set will be battery-operated and include a spreader that can pry apart a wrecked vehicle, a cutting tool and a ram that can extend to 3 feet to help free an accident victim pinned in a vehicle. “These new tools are going to have the capability of going additional places,” Talamantez said. “We can jump out, push one button and we’re ready to go. Before, we were limited because we had to start our motorized pump and link up the hoses. It would take four, five minutes to set everything up. “Now, it’s an instant process since the new tools are battery-operated,” Talamantez said. “One person can grab one tool and another person can grab another one. We’ll also have three chargers and six batteries so we’ll have spare batteries that we’re charging all the time.” As the population grows in Burnet County, Talamantez said the area has seen an increase in motor vehicle accidents. In recent years, calls tied to motor vehicle crashes have increased 10 to 15 percent annually for Hoover Valley Volunteer Fire and Emergency Services, he said. The department’s new rescue tools also will aid accident victims who might be far from a roadway, Talamantez said. “At Inks Lake State Park, there are a lot of hiking trails and a lot of boulders,” he said. “Kids like to get on them and jump around, and sometimes they can roll on somebody. We can use that ram and spreader to get that hiker out, so these new tools are not just for motor vehicle accidents. “All of our department’s members are really ecstatic to get these new tools,” Talamantez said. “Ever since I joined the department, it’s been my goal to better outfit our guys and gals so they can better serve our community.” 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. 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
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.
Founded in 1938 by then-Congressman Lyndon B. Johnson, Pedernales Electric Cooperative Inc. is a member-owned electric cooperative serving more than 363,000 accounts across Central Texas. An industry-recognized leader providing outstanding member service and reliable electricity, PEC conducts its business via a transparent and democratic process and highly encourages member participation.