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Bluebonnet, LCRA award $19,583 grant to Martindale Volunteer Fire and Rescue

0526
 2021


Pictured, from left to right, are: Drew Schulle, Martindale fire lieutenant; Milton Shaw, Bluebonnet Board member; Chris Germer, fire chief; Bill Glaze, Martindale fire board president; Joyce Buckner, Bluebonnet community representative; Rick Arnic, LCRA regional affairs representative; and Kyle Morris, firefighter.

A $19,583 grant from Bluebonnet Electric Cooperative and the Lower Colorado River Authority will help Martindale Volunteer Fire and Rescue purchase a utility terrain vehicle to assist with river rescues and patient transports.
 
The Community Development Partnership Program grant, along with $4,896 in matching funds, will provide the department with a reliable rescue vehicle to access areas along the San Marcos River that are hard to reach with standard firetrucks or brush trucks.
 
“We’re in great need of this type of river rescue UTV, and it will be another great asset for our department,” said Bill Glaze, board president of Martindale Volunteer Fire and Rescue. “We spend about 45 days or more by the river during floating season.”
 
With about 15 full-time volunteers, Martindale Volunteer Fire and Rescue, formerly known as the Martindale Volunteer Fire Department Company, serves a population of more than 1,270.
 
The San Marcos River runs alongside the City of Martindale and attracts up to 10,000 visitors per weekend during spring and summer. Martindale Fire has seen an increase over the last three years in river-related calls.   
 
“We use an inflatable boat to rescue people from the river, but the UTV will be used to transport physically injured persons by land to an awaiting ambulance,” Glaze said. “The hardest thing about not having this type of vehicle is first responders can’t get close to the river bottom for rescues. Their brush trucks won’t make it that close and that means patients have to be carried up from the riverbanks to an ambulance by hand.”
 
Glaze said the bed of the UTV will have room for a stretcher and a medical technician who will ride in the back during patient transports. The vehicle also has ample storage for medical equipment such as water rescue gear and automated external defibrillators.
 
“This grant has been a real blessing to us for sure and we appreciate LCRA,” he said. “Although we won’t get the truck until after the floating season begins, everyone is very excited about it and we’ll put it to work immediately.”
 
The community grant is one of seven grants being awarded by Bluebonnet and the LCRA 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 lcra.org/cdpp.

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