Emergency Services Districts (ESD’s) are political subdivisions of the State of Texas. There are 280 Districts in the 84 Texas Counties that provide fire protection and emergency medical services to the communities they serve.
Denton County ESD #1 currently serves a population of more than 11,000 in 65-square miles including the communities of Argyle, Bartonville, Copper Canyon, Northlake, parts of Justin and Roanoke. In addition, there is a service agreement through the Argyle Fire Department for Lantana.
The Denton County ESD #1 was formed in 2006 by a favorable vote of the residents. Before then, emergency services were provided by the Volunteer Fire Districts, which were funded by the municipalities. However, the funding was not always stable and varied with the town’s budget constraints.
Through ad valorem taxes, with an annual tax rate of ten-cents per $100 of property value, the ESD provides reliable resources to sustain necessary personnel, purchase updated equipment and build modern facilities.
The ESD is comprised of a five-member board appointed by Commissioners Court for staggered two-year terms. Current members are: President Jim Carter; Vice President Jay Haynes, M.D.; Secretary Steve Harris; Treasurer Jon Donahue; and Assistant Treasurer Chris Amarante.
The mission of Denton County Emergency Services District # 1 is to provide the citizens of the district with the most advanced fire and emergency medical services staffed with the leading team of skilled, caring and dedicated individuals and to always be conservative with public funds entrusted to the District.
The Denton County Emergency Services District #1 has partnerships with the Argyle, Justin, and Roanoke Fire Departments who have responded to over 1,275 emergency calls in the past year averaging 106 responses per month. Since its inception, the ESD #1 has made many significant accomplishments including, securing two new ambulances and one new fire engine.
In addition to providing essential emergency services and fire protection, the ESD works to educate the community on fire prevention. Each year the Denton County ESD sets an annual budget and collects property taxes.
In 2009, Fire Station #513, east of Lantana near Copper Canyon, was opened. In March of this year, Station #511, at Gibbons and FM 407, opened. The firefighters and emergency personnel are the best in the region and continue to improve their performance.
The average response time has decreased from 11-minutes in 2006 to an average of eight-minutes at present. Because of the upgraded performance and capacity since 2006, the insurance ISO rating in the District has improved from an eight to a four, which has translated to an estimated 17-percent savings in premium costs to homeowners.
In addition to these substantial resident benefits, the citizens of the ESD are never billed for services above the amount paid by insurance.
Major priorities and goals for ESD #1 for the upcoming years are to improve the time of emergency medical responses, support the addition of personnel, upgrade equipment, continue to lower the ISO rating and build a new Fire Station to better serve Northlake and surrounding communities west of Hwy 377.