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.

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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 176,000 people throughout 62 square miles in unincorporated northern Harris County.  The largest concentration of people during the day, during the week, is approximately 15,000 in the City Place area.

Note: There are many addresses that are Spring, TX 773xx.  This does not mean that you are served by Spring Fire Department.  Check our Coverage Map to see if you are in an area served by us.

Q: How many stations are staffed with firefighters?

A: We staff all 9 fire stations 24 hours per day with full-time, part-time and volunteer firefighters.

Q: What is your response time to calls for service?

A: It varies because sometimes we don’t respond emergency (with lights and sirens) to certain types of calls, but for calls we do respond to emergency, our average response time for 2023 was 5 minutes and 36 seconds which has decreased 2 minutes and 30 seconds since 2010.

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: No, not anymore.  We have every fire station staffed with volunteer, part-time and full-time firefighters.

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 176,000 people with the best service based on the revenue we receive from Harris County Emergency Services District No. 7 (HCESD7), and we provide that service regardless of age, race/color, gender, religion, sexual orientation, socioeconomic status, etc.

Q: How do you receive your funding and how much is your budget?

A: We receive the majority of our funding from Harris County Emergency Services District No. 7 (HCESD7).  We also receive a small amount of contributions from Grants and Corporate and Personal Donations.  Our 2023 operating budget is $25.1 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 HCESD7 $90.00 per year in ad valorem (property) taxes for fire protection.  If you have a $250,000 home you pay about $245.00 and a $340,000 home pays about $306.00 per year.

The tax rate HCESD7 is collecting for 2023 is .0900 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.

Q: Do you receive any other money?

A: Yes. We receive a few donations each year.  However, the majority of our funding comes from HCESD7 which along with ad valorem (property) tax, 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 (MUD) 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 under current Texas law, a MUD cannot collect a Sales and Use Tax.

Q: How can we contact the fire department without calling 911?

A: You can contact us for non-emergency questions by calling 281-355-1266 during normal business hours or you can Contact Us

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.

Burn Bans can be any time of the year not just in the summer when it’s hot.  It can be very dry in the winter and a burn ban could be initiated.

Q: Why does a fire truck show up when we call an ambulance?

A: We continued to evolve as the community’s needs evolved.  Although we are not required to provide emergency medical services, over the past 27 years it has become more common for fire departments to provide emergency medical services as well.  In 1997, Spring Fire Department began responding to high priority medical calls throughout our shared service area with Harris County Emergency Services District No. 11.

Q: I would like for the fire truck to come and/or for the firefighters 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 enjoy participating in community events and try to fulfill as many requests as possible. Please complete our Event Request Form. Someone will get back to you as soon as possible.

Q: Which fire station serves me?

A: We currently have 9 fire stations serving our residents and visitors. To find out which fire station is closest to your area check the Coverage Area Map.

It is important to know that if you have a fire in your home or business that you will not only receive one fire truck.  Depending on the type of fire call you may receive fire trucks from the 3 to 4 closest fire stations.

In areas close to the borders of our territory, the fire trucks that arrive may be from surrounding fire departments since we believe that the closest fire trucks should respond even if they belong to another fire department.  We do that for those departments as well and we call this “Mutual Aid”.

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 leaves and trash 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 our territory. You can call Harris County Pollution Control Services Department at (713) 920-2831, 24 hours per day for further information.  You can also click here for the Outdoor Burning in Texas document from the Texas Commission on Enviornmental Quality (TCEQ).  

Q: What do I need to do if I want to be a volunteer firefighter?
A: Click here to learn about becoming a volunteer firefighter.
Q: I don't want to become a firefighter 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.
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 keep 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: All of our volunteer firefighters respond when they are staffing a fire station, but all firefighters are provided access to a smartphone app to receive call information. This system alerts the individual to an emergency by beeping when their apparatus 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, CPR, and AED courses to the public. Please see the Events page for more information and to register for any of the courses offered.

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 within our service area that request it, at no cost.  We also offer First Aid, CPR, and AED courses at no cost.  Check out our Events page for upcoming courses.

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

A: We offer car seat inspections by appointment.  We provide babysitter training, First Aid, CPR, and AED training.  We provide Fire Extinguisher training.  We also intend to form a Citizens Emergency Response Team (CERT) in the future.

Q: Will you respond if there is a cat stuck in a tree?

A: We don’t normally respond fire trucks 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 system.
Q: I need my pool filled with water and with a garden hose will take a long time, can you have a fire truck do that for me, I can pay?

A: No, we do not fill pools even if paid for.  This is not an available service.