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LCRA & BEC awards grant for new firefighting gear


Castle Lake Ranch Volunteer Fire Department will purchase new air packs and equipment courtesy of a grant awarded through the Lower Colorado River Authority (LCRA) Community Development Partnership Program.
LCRA and Bandera Electric Cooperative Inc. provided the $25,000 grant to buy new breathing apparatus and replace the department's outdated protective firefighting gear that no longer meets National Fire Protection Association standards.
"The hand-me-down turnout gear and air packs from other fire departments that we have been using have outlived their useful lives," said Ray Roolf, secretary for the Castle Lake Ranch Volunteer Fire Department. "In addition to buying three new air packs, we also will buy heavy bunker gear that is needed to battle structural fires. We have the gear we need to respond to wildland fires, but we also need the heavy duty fire- and heat-protective suits that are necessary for fighting fires in outbuildings and homes."
The Castle Lake Ranch Volunteer Fire Department responds to fire calls and supports emergency medical calls in Bandera, Kerr and Kendall counties. The department expects the new air packs to last at least 10 years. New personal protective equipment also may improve a fire department's insurance rating and lower premiums for its service area.