LCRA and Bluebonnet Electric Cooperative representatives present a $19,856 grant to the Birch Creek Area Volunteer Fire Department to construct a new emergency helipad. The grant is part of LCRA’s Community Development Partnership Program. Pictured, from left to right, are: Kate Holman, LCRA Governmental Affairs representative; Hondo Powell, Bluebonnet Electric Cooperative representative; Greg Wolf, Bluebonnet assistant superintendent; Donald Shockey, Birch Creek Area VFD president; Jimmy Hindman, fire chief; Leroy Haby, Birch Creek Area VFD treasurer; Lori A. Berger, LCRA Board member; and Bob Ware, assistant fire chief.
The Birch Creek Area Volunteer Fire Department soon will have its first designated emergency medical helipad, thanks to a $19,856 community development grant from the Lower Colorado River Authority and Bluebonnet Electric Cooperative.
The Community Development Partnership Program grant, along with $7,942 in matching funds, will allow the fire department to construct the helipad, which will provide an easily accessible landing area for helicopters and a safe location for emergency responders to prepare a patient for the flight to a hospital. The 40-by-40 foot helipad will be accessible 24 hours a day and will have an access ramp, landing lights and paved parking for emergency vehicles.
“An accident never happens in the most convenient place,” said Donald Shockey, fire department president. “On some occasions, pilots have had to land on a highway if that was the nearest large and open space. The helipad will allow us to respond more quickly since we won’t be hindered by accessibility issues or traffic conditions.”
The Birch Creek Area Volunteer Fire Department serves mostly rural communities in southern Burleson County, which includes Birch Creek State Park.
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 wholesale electric and water 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 a partner in the grant program.
Applications for the next round of grants will be accepted July 1-July 31. 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; 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
Bluebonnet Electric Cooperative is one of the largest electric cooperatives in Texas and has been serving its members since 1939. Bluebonnet serves nearly 95,000 meters and owns and maintains more than 11,000 miles of power lines, located across more than 3,800 square miles within 14 Central Texas counties. Bluebonnet’s service area stretches from Travis County to Washington County, and from Milam County to Gonzales County. For more information about Bluebonnet Electric Cooperative, go to
bluebonnet.coop and follow the co-op on Facebook and Twitter.
Source: LCRA Business News