LCRA awards $6,636 grant for lifesaving firefighter gear

An LCRA representative presents a $6,636 grant to the City of Cuero Fire Department for new personal fire protection gear. The grant is part of LCRA’s Community Development Partnership Program. Pictured, from left to right, are: Josh Schuenemann, firefighter; Sara Post Meyer, City of Cuero mayor; Raymie Zella, Cuero city manager; Lori A. Berger, LCRA Board member; and Clint Morris, firefighter.

The Cuero Fire Department soon will have new, lightweight personal protective equipment for its firefighters thanks to a $6,636 community development grant from the Lower Colorado River Authority.

The Community Development Partnership Program grant, along with $1,659 in matching funds, will allow the department to purchase seven sets of the new high-tech gear – enough to equip the entire department.

Currently, the firefighters wear standard National Fire Protection Association-rated bunker gear that weighs more than 30 pounds when responding to emergencies. The new lightweight gear weighs just 5 pounds and is rated for safe use for the majority of calls the fire department receives, including wildland fires and auto accidents.

“The new gear increases safety significantly by improving firefighters’ mobility in emergency situations,” said Cuero City Secretary Jennifer Zufelt. “Reducing that equipment weight by 25 pounds can make a huge difference when one of our first responders is trying to rescue an unconscious person from a vehicle, for instance. Firefighters can work longer in emergency situations, too, without the additional bulk and heat of the standard gear.

“We will still rely on the standard bunker gear for interior structure fires, but the new gear gives us flexibility in responding to the vast majority of the calls we receive,” Zufelt said. “Quite literally, we can ‘do more with less’ to keep the community safe using the high-tech gear.”

The community grant is one of a number of grants recently awarded through LCRA’s Community Development Partnership Program. The program provides economic development and community assistance grants to cities, counties, volunteer fire departments, regional development councils and other nonprofit organizations in LCRA’s electric and water service areas. The program is part of LCRA’s effort to give back to the communities it serves. The City of Cuero 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

About LCRA
​The Lower Colorado River Authority serves customers and communities throughout Texas by managing the lower Colorado River; generating and transmitting electric power; ensuring a clean, reliable water supply; and offering access to nature at more than 40​ parks, recreation areas and river access sites along the Texas Colorado River, from the Hill Country to the Gulf Coast. LCRA and its employees are committed to enhancing the lives of Texans through water stewardship, energy and community services. LCRA was created by the Texas Legislature in 1934. For more information, visit

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Clara Tuma

Source: LCRA Business News

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