Do You Know?

Do you know how many Emergency Services Districts (ESDs) are in Harris County? Or in the state of Texas?

There are currently 33 ESDs in unincorporated Harris County–seven ESDs provide emergency medical services only; 16 ESDs, such as your Harris County Emergency Services District No. 60, provide fire services only; and 10 ESDs provide both emergency medical and fire services.

There are currently around 300 ESDs in the great state of Texas, including seven “multi–county” ESDs. Sheldon Community Fire & Rescue is supported by Harris County Emergency Services District No. 60.

Engine 13 Crew at Royalwood Church

Sunday, April 30

Two volunteers joined us on Monday (that can be seen in their yellow helmets in the photos). The day was spent by training with C-SHIFT at Station Two, which included a classroom lecture in the morning followed by P.T. In the afternoon, we conducted a burn session that challenged everyone mentally and physically. Overall, it was a rewarding day filled with valuable learning experiences for everyone involved.

What Is an ESD and What Does It Mean to Me?

Emergency Service Districts (ESDs) are political subdivisions in the State of Texas similar to a school district, HOA or hospital district. ESDs may support or provide emergency medical services, fire prevention and control services, or a combination of both services. ESDs are managed by five Commissioners that are sometimes appointed by the members of the County’s Commissioner Court. However, in Harris County and two other Texas counties (Orange and Smith), the Commissioners are elected officials chosen by residents of the ESD territory in a bi-annual November election.

ESDs gain their primary authority under the Texas Health and Safety Code Chapter 775 and are tasked to provide fire and/or EMS services. ESDs provide those services through direct delivery, or through contract service providers including local fire departments and ambulance services. Funding is generated for the ESDs through their authority as a special taxing district by collecting ad valorem and/or sales taxes. ESDs do not have the ability to affect services outside of their defined capabilities. Several of the incorporated cities provide emergency medical services, fire suppression and control services, or a combination to residents.

Most emergency services providers in this area, such as Sheldon Community Fire & Rescue, are signatories of the Harris County Automatic and Mutual AId Fire Protection Agreement, under which equipment and personnel can be made available as requested by signed parties. This means when necessary, other fire departments help each other out in times of need. Having mutual aid agreements in place assists in offsetting the costs and buy-down overall local risk inside Harris County. Beyond local mutual aid agreements, jurisdictions also have access to regional, state and federal resources through established protocols and procedures.

Sheldon Community Fire & Rescue is supported by Harris County Emergency Services District No. 60.

History of Sheldon

Sheldon, Texas is an unincorporated community in northeastern Harris County, Texas. The Sheldon area is located along Beltway 8 and US Highway 90 approximately twelve miles northeast of Downtown Houston.

Sheldon, Texas opened in the 1850s and served as a retail marketing point for agricultural goods and lumber from an area on the San Jacinto River. Its name originated from Henry K. Sheldon, who was a stockholder in a railroad company. By 1896, Sheldon had 50 residents serviced by a general store and one grocer, along with the post office which opened in 1887. The community’s first school opened later in 1905. In the 1940s Sheldon had grown to 150 residents and ten businesses and would continue that growth in the 1950s. In 1955, the post office burned down and was not rebuilt.

In 1955, Beaumont Road Volunteer Fire Department was formed, and later merged with Sheldon Volunteer Fire Department in 1996 creating Sheldon Community Fire & Rescue.

From 1955 to 2003 the fire department was exclusively volunteer, with an annual budget under $10,000. To call out the firefighters, a Q2 air horn siren was blasted over the neighborhood. The Department’s response area was approximately 50 square miles with limited hospital and medical outlets nearby. Since then, Sheldon has had extensive growth with residents and industry. The area currently has an estimated population of 175,000 residents and a response area of 100 square miles. One home-based station has expanded into four stations, with construction of the newest building, Station 1, costing $14 million. The department now operates 24/7/365, has over 1,800 calls per year, employs 26 full-time firefighters and 46 part-time firefighters and is overseen by Harris County Emergency Services District  No. 60.

Career Day – Sheldon Lake Elementary

Sheldon Community Fire & Rescue, supported by Harris County Emergency Service District #60.

Teaching the children fire safety and firefighting career possibilities.

Ensure your child knows their home address–including zip code– and to call 9-1-1 in the event of an emergency.