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Grant aids Pipe Creek VFD

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A $19,998 grant from the Lower Colorado River Authority and the Bandera Electric Cooperative will help the Pipe Creek Volunteer Fire Department purchase a much-needed all-terrain vehicle and vertical rescue equipment, a news release from the sponsoring entities said.

The Community Development Partnership Program grant, along with $5,000 in matching funds, will allow the department to buy an ATV for rescue and fire operations in remote areas that are inaccessible to larger rescue vehicles.

The new ATV also will act as an incident command vehicle at grass and brush fires as well as transporting personnel and equipment to difficult-to-reach areas, officials said.

In addition, the grant will help purchase vertical rescue equipment for use in the region’s rugged countryside.

“The money will help update technical rescue equipment to cover our service area,” said Pipe Creek VFD Fire Chief Brandon Lee. “Given the large number of bluffs in our area, it will also improve our capability to respond to emergencies.”

Lee said the ATV will be a new to the department, but the rescue equipment will replace high-angle gear that is about 20 years old.

Pipe Creek VFD covers about 75 square miles in southeast Bandera County, which includes the community of Pipe Creek. “It’s great that we got

“It’s great that we got the grant to make these purchases instead of having to use donations that go toward our day-to-day operations,” Lee said. “Without it, it might have taken us a couple of years to get the ATV and rescue equipment.”

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.

BEC is one of LCRA’s wholesale electric customers and a partner in the grant program. Applications for the

Applications for the next round of grants will be accepted July 1-31.

More information about the grant program is available at