Emergency Service District
What is an Emergency Service District?
Emergency Services Districts (ESD’s) are political subdivisions of the State of Texas, which may support or provide local emergency services, including emergency medical services, emergency ambulance services, rural fire prevention and control services, and other emergency services authorized by the Texas Legislature.
Emergency Services Districts may impose a sales and use tax and/or property tax to support or provide these services. In addition to other powers, an Emergency Services District may also own real or personal property, enter into contracts, employs officer, agents, and employees, accept donations, adopt and enforce a fire code, and provide a fire marshal.
Emergency Services Districts tax revenues may be used to purchase new equipment, safety equipment, facilities, training and to hire full-time emergency personnel, contract with other entities that have full-time fire and emergency medical departments.
More importantly for some areas, Emergency Services Districts can contract with volunteer fire and emergency medical services departments and provide a stable funding source for these entities as well.
Emergency Services District tax revenues mean more time to focus on training and the provision of emergency services rather than fund-raising and other activities for these volunteer fire and emergency medical services organizations. Through these powers and stable funding, established Emergency Services Districts have considerably reduced fire and medical response times, provided stable funding for volunteer fire and EMS departments and allowed local entities to provide enhanced services – thus saving lives, property and funds for local citizens.
Emergency Services Districts are created under Texas Health and Safety Code, chapter 775 as a means to better provide public funding for urban, suburban and rural emergency services organizations.
Districts created under chapter 776, Texas Health and Safety Code are generally designated for counties with populations of less than 125,000. However, the trend is to create all future Emergency Services Districts under Chapter 775 since this chapter of the Texas Health and Safety Code provides greater flexibility and authority to an Emergency Services District and these Emergency Services Districts may be created in any county in Texas regardless of population.
What does the creation of the Emergency Service District cost the average Homeowner?
The plan is to set the rate at .10 cents per 100 dollars of valuation, so a home valued at $100,000 would pay $100.00 per year. Once the rate is set it can’t be raised unless another election is set and approved by the voters in the Emergency Service District.
What is the cost of fire apparatus and the equipment use to outfit each apparatus?
A bush truck depending on make and model can run in the area of $90,000 to well over $150,000. It's the first out of the hall and first on scene, used for size up, grass fires, and rapid engagement of our crew for Motor Vehicle Accident or other scenes.
A Fire Engine is the truck used to pump water to lines and supply us with charged hose-lines and carry all our equipment. the cost of Fire Engine is in the area of $200,000-$800,000.
A Tender, is used as a water transporter. Tender's usually carrys 2000 - 5000 Gallons of water, a Tender is like an Engine but it sacrifices storage to carry the amount of water that it does. a Tender cost in the area of $300,000- $800,000.
What does it cost to outfit a firefighter?
What are the boundaries of the Emergency Service District?
The boundaries for Emergency Service District #5 run along the same lines of the Simms Independent School district. If you live within this schools district you will be apart of Emergency Service District #5.
What can the Emergency Service District do for Homeowner and Business insurance cost?
The establishment of an Emergency Service District may result in a better Insurance Services Office (ISO) rating within the Emergency Service District service area and lower insurance premiums for businesses and homeowners.
The current ISO rating for our Department is 6.
The rating scale is 1-10. 1 being the best rating, 10 being the worst rating.
The rating is determined by water supply, firefighting equipment, firefighter training, fire pre-planning / inspections program, maintenance program and station locations. These are the major items reviewed to determine the ISO rating of the department.
With the additional funding the Emergency Service District will obtain, the plan is to improve on all criteria which should lower the average homeowners and business owners insurance cost.