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Frequently Asked Questions

Here are some of the answers to the most popular questions we get from the community. If you have additional questions, feel free to contact us.

Find the fire station near you!

Our stations are strategically located throughout the Spring area.

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Q: How many people do you serve and how big an area does Spring Fire Department cover?
A: We serve 152,000 people throughout 62 square miles in unincorporated northern Harris County.  The largest concentration of people during the day, during the week is approximately 9,000 at the ExxonMobil campus in Springwoods Village.
Q: Do lower income areas receive less service than higher income areas?

A: Absolutely not!  We distribute coverage across all 62 square miles and serve our 152,000 people with the best service we are able based on the revenue we receive from HCESD#7 and we provide that service regardless of age, race/color, gender, religion, sexual orientation, socioeconomic status, etc.

We have lower income areas that have stations staffed 24/7/365 with full-time, part-time, and volunteer firefighters and we have some higher income areas that have stations that only have volunteers. We distribute the coverage based on many factors with the goal of serving everyone with adequate fire protection and respond as quickly as possible.

Q: How many stations are staffed with firefighters?
A: We staff 7 of our 9 fire stations from 6am-6pm every day and 6 out of 9 of our fire stations every night from 6pm-6am.
Q: I know you were a volunteer fire department awhile back, do you still have volunteer firefighters?
A: Yes, We are now classified as a combination fire department which means we have volunteer, part-time and full-time firefighters.
Q: Do you have any fire stations that have only volunteer firefighters?
A: Yes, Station 74, 77 and 78 have only volunteers assigned to them for now.  Once the new Station 74 is complete in early 2019 it will be staffed 24/7/365 with volunteer, part-time and full-time firefighters and beginning in January 2019 Station 78 will be staffed as well
Q: Why don't you staff every fire station with full-time firefighters?
A: Money!  Spring Fire Department had ONLY volunteer firefighters until 1997 when we saw the need to begin employing part-time firefighters.  HCESD#7 began receiving Sales and Use tax in late 2011 which allowed us to do things much differently and beginning in 2013 we hired 8 full-time firefighters.  Today we have 67 full-time firefighters; 40 part-time firefighters, and 95 volunteer firefighters.  This means there are 29 personnel each day comprised of Firefighters, Apparatus Operators, Captains and Chiefs.
Q: Is there a way you can receive more money so that you can staff ALL of your fire stations?
A: Yes, but it would require legislation that would remove the 10 cent cap that Emergency Service Districts in the state are bound under.  Unfortunately, it is not likely to occur anytime soon.
Q: How do you receive your funding and how much is your budget?

A: We receive funding from Harris County Emergency Services District #7 (HCESD#7).  Our 2018 Operating budget is $13.7 million dollars

Q: How much does the average household pay in taxes for the fire department?
A: If you own a $100,000 home you pay HCESD#7 about $96.00 per year in ad valorem (property) taxes for fire protection.  The tax rate HCESD#7 is collecting in 2018 is .960609 cents per hundred dollars valuation of your property.  Whether it is a family of four or ten, the amount per property is the same based on the value of the property.  Likewise, if you have a $220,000 home you pay about $213 per year in taxes to fund your fire protection.
Q: Do you receive any other money?

A: Yes. Spring FD receives a few donations each year. However, the majority of our funding comes from HCESD #7 which collects a 1 cent Sales and Use Tax from all business sales within our territory. There is an exception when businesses are located in a Municipal Utility District with a prior agreement with the City of Houston. In those cases, The City of Houston collects the 1 cent sales tax and agrees not to annex property within that MUD, then the City of Houston returns 1/2 of the sales tax collected to the MUD because nder current Texas law, a MUD cannot collect a Sales and Use tax.

Q: What is your response time to calls for service?
A: It varies because sometimes we don’t respond with lights and sirens to certain types of calls, but for calls we do respond to with lights and sirens our average response time for 2017 was 6 minutes and 12 seconds.
Q: How can we contact the fire department without calling 911?
A: You can contact us by calling 281-355-1266 during normal business hours or you can email us at information@springfd.org.
Q: How do we know if there is a burn ban in effect?
A: You can either contact the Harris County Fire Marshal’s Office at 281-436-8000, check their website or check our website for details and information.
Q: Why does a fire truck show up when we call an ambulance?
A: Spring FD continues to evolve as the community’s needs evolve. Over the past 15 years, it has become more common for fire departments to provide emergency medical services as well. In 1997, Spring FD began assisting Cypress Creek EMS (your local ambulance service) with high priority medical calls throughout our shared service area.
Q: I would like for the fire truck to come and/or for the firemen to talk to my group. Or, can we arrange for some other function where the fire truck can be part of our activity?
A: Spring Firefighters love to participate in community events and try to fulfill as many requests as possible. Please fill out our events request form on this website. Someone will get back to you promptly.
Q: Which fire station serves me?
A: We currently have 9 fire stations serving our customers. To find out which fire station serves your area check the coverage area map in the About Us section.
Q: There is no burn ban in effect, but I am still not allowed to burn. Why is that?
A: Generally, outdoor burning is prohibited in the entire state of Texas. While some exceptions do exist, they are actually very few. If you live in the unincorporated areas of Harris County you can burn trash and leaves produced at your residence if you do not have regular garbage service provided by a government agency. You should check your deed restrictions also. You cannot burn any material generated by a business. Generally, this applies to almost every subdivision in Spring’s territory. You can call Harris County Pollution Control Services at (713) 920-2831, 24 hours per day.
Q: What do I need to do if I want to volunteer?
A: Under the Recruitment section of this website, you can fill out an application. You can also contact our Administration Office at 281-355-1266.
Q: I don't want to become a member of the fire department. Is there anything I can do as a citizen?

A: Yes, there are several things:

  • Clean the street signs in the subdivision with soap and water so all police, fire and EMS personnel can read them.
  • Put your street address on both sides of the mailbox so it can be viewed from either direction.
  • Put your address on the curb or your house but wherever your address is, make sure it contrasts with the background so we can read it. The bigger the better!
  • Ask others to keep from parking cars on both sides of the road directly across from each other. We have had cases where we were not able to get down a street because there were two cars parked away from the curb across from each other. This will cause us to have to back out and go down another street that will delay us several minutes.
  • We have a division called Rehab in our department that provides drinks and cold towels for the firefighters at calls when we are going to be there for a long time. You don’t need to know anything about firefighting to help. The Rehab division is one of the most important divisions to a firefighter! If you would like to participate in the Rehab division, contact Barbara at 281-355-1266 and she will put you in contact with the leader of our Rehab Division.
Q: Why do I see fire trucks coming down the street with lights and sirens on and all of a sudden they shut their lights and sirens off? Are they just trying to get through traffic?

A: No, in most cases what this means is that after the firefighters were notified of an emergency and had begun to respond to the call, they were notified they were no longer needed. That notification could have come from another first responder, or officer on scene, or the person who called in the emergency may have called back and said help was no longer needed.  Lights and sirens are only used when necessary for public safety.  You may notice a fire vehicle parked with lights on but no sirens. That is so we can be seen and our personnel protected, etc. When you hear our sirens, that means our crews are responding to an emergency call.

Q: How do the volunteers get notified of a fire or medical call?

A: Each volunteer is provided access to a smartphone app to receive call information. This system alerts the individual to an emergency by beeping when their station is requested to respond to an emergency.  After their smartphone app beeps, the dispatcher announces what trucks to respond, what type of call we are responding to, and where the call is located.

Q: Does the fire department offer CPR training for citizens?

A: Since May 2013, our community education program offers First Aid and CPR courses to the public. Please see the Events page for more information and to register for any of the courses.

Q: Does the fire department offer any type of training to it's residents or business owners?

A: Yes, Currently the department offers fire extinguisher training to businesses that request it at no cost.  We also offer First Aid, CPR, and AED courses at a cost.  Check out our Events portion of the website for upcoming courses.

Q: Will you respond if there is a cat stuck in a tree?
A: We don’t normally respond to these types of incidents however we will send someone to investigate the situation and provide guidance.  Typically an animal rescue service handles these types of issues.
Q: I noticed that a fire hydant is flowing water and/or is leaking, can the fire department come shut if off?
A: No, you will need to call your Municipal Utility District (MUD), which can be found on your water bill.  The reason we do not come and shut it off is because your utility service may be working on the hydrant system.