The Gay-Mound-Cedar Hill Volunteer Fire Department will be able to improve its response to structure fires and increase firefighter safety after receiving a $24,720 grant from the Lower Colorado River Authority (LCRA) and Bluebonnet Electric Cooperative.

LCRA and Bluebonnet Electric Cooperative representatives present a $24,720 grant to the Gay-Mound-Cedar Hill Volunteer Fire Department for new self-contained breathing apparatus systems. The grant is part of LCRA’s Community Development Partnership Program. Pictured, from left to right, are: Kyle Merten, Bluebonnet community representative, Brenham area; Robert Buchman, assistant fire chief and training coordinator; Kate Ramzinski, LCRA Regional Affairs representative; Ricky Adler, firefighter; Robert Mikeska, Bluebonnet director; Gregory Pecht, firefighter; Curtis Rodenbeck, fire chief; Corey Prestwood, firefighter; Laura D. Figueroa, LCRA Board member; Troy Schroeder, assistant fire chief; Margaret D. "Meg" Voelter, LCRA Board member; and firefighters Jordan Labeth, Michael Parker and Donald Hancock.
(courtesy LCRA)

The Community Development Partnership Program grant, along with $6,300 in matching funds from the department, will allow it to purchase several new self-contained breathing apparatus systems.

The department is currently using 15-year-old equipment, and the addition of gear with new technology increases the department’s ability to provide a safer response.  The new gear will also allow more firefighters to actively participate in structure fire responses.

Robert Buchman, Gay-Mound-Cedar Hill VFD Assistant Chief and Training Coordinator, said the new air packs have technology that allows firefighters to activate a personal safety system with a locator that would assist in their location and extraction if needed.  They also allow the department to have more firefighters engaging in fire suppression.

The department serves the communities of Gay Hill, Cedar Hill and Mound Hill.  It also assists the City of Brenham, Rocky Creek Volunteer Fire Department, Berlin Volunteer Fire Department and other Washington County fire departments as needed.  Buchman said most of the emergency responses for the department involve mutual aid with other area fire departments.

The community grant is one of 36 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.  Bluebonnet 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 July.  More information is available at





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