Photo courtesy of Waring VFD | Article courtesy of LCRA
KENDALL COUNTY, Texas – A $16,212 grant from the Lower Colorado River Authority and Bandera Electric Cooperative will provide the Waring Volunteer Fire Department with new bunker gear and swift-water rescue equipment.
This grant, combined with $4,100 in matching funds from the department, will help replace worn-out gear and equipment, increasing firefighter safety and providing better equipment for fire and water rescue operations in the community.
“Bunker gear is the basic gear that a firefighter wears,” VFD President Michelle Achorn said. “We have quite a few members who have been in the department for a long time and have older gear. Giving senior members new gear moves us toward our goal of protecting them better, and we’re excited to get to replace it sooner than expected.”
When the area experiences flooding, the department assists with rescuing stranded motorists and transporting supplies and medicine to otherwise-inaccessible areas, in addition to responding to other emergencies, Achorn said.
“Our county experiences a very high incidence of flash floods,” Achorn said. “We are right on the Guadalupe River, and a lot of times the river completely floods the bridges or low water crossings. This grant will give us a chance to get our equipment upgraded before the next flood season.”
Members of the Waring department also assist Kendall County Emergency Medical Services and surrounding fire departments through mutual aid agreements.
“Waring VFD covers almost 44 square miles and serves more than 3,500 residents,’’ Achorn said. “The township of Waring has about 80 residents in a 12-block area that includes a historic one-room schoolhouse, an old church, several small shops, an event center and the firehouse complex. The surrounding area is rich with farming and ranching families.
“We hugely appreciate all of the support LCRA has given departments across the region, not only ours,’’ she said. “It is really helpful to our communities as a whole, and we couldn’t do our part without support like this from LCRA and Bandera Electric Co-op.’’
The community grant is one of 28 grants awarded recently through LCRA’s Community Development Partnership Program, which provides economic development and community assistance grants to cities, counties, volunteer fire departments, regional development councils and other nonprofit organizations in LCRA’s wholesale electric and water service areas. The program is part of LCRA’s effort to give back to the communities it serves. Bandera Electric Cooperative is one of LCRA’s wholesale electric customers and a partner in the grant program.
Applications for the next round of grants will be accepted July 1-31. More information is available at lcra.org/cdpp.