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LCRA & BCE give grant for emergency equipment


Utopia Volunteer EMS Inc. will purchase an advanced medical tool to use on heart attack victims thanks to 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 two LUCAS™ Chest Compression systems for emergency responders to use on cardiac arrest patients while they are being transported to the hospital.
"Our closest hospital is at least 45 minutes away, and proper CPR in the back of a moving ambulance can be difficult, so it will be a huge benefit to have a system that can perform chest compressions on heart attack victims while the ambulance is on its way to the hospital," said Rhonda Garofano, Utopia volunteer EMS director. "Unfortunately, we receive a lot of cardiac arrest calls. Our service area encompasses two large state parks and includes many retirees, tourists and winter Texans."
Each ambulance will carry one of the two portable, self-contained chest compression systems onboard. Utopia Volunteer EMS has 15 medics who provide emergency care in a 457-square-mile area that includes parts of Bandera, Medina, Real and Uvalde counties, as well as Lost Maples State Park and Garner State Park - the most popular park in Texas for overnight camping.
This 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 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. Bandera Electric Cooperative is one of LCRA's 43 wholesale electric customers and a partner in the grant program.