What Are Fire Districts and Why are they Important?fireman in a burning building

By Nathan Sosa, WCD Comms Team Volunteer

Fire districts are responsible for providing firefighting and emergency services within a geographic area. There are five fire districts within Washington County. Each district is overseen by a Board of Directors. These directors are volunteers who are elected to four-year terms. They meet at least once a month to fulfill a variety of tasks.

The Board’s responsibilities include the following:

  • Hire and/or evaluate the district’s fire chief;
  • Select the location of the firehouses;
  • Oversee the purchase of firefighting equipment;
  • Provide a water system for fire-fighting purposes;
  • Provide an adequate system or code of fire alarms or signals;
  • Contract for the operation of emergency medical service equipment;
  • Tax the assessed value of all taxable property within the district to pay for said services; and
  • With the support of a majority of voters, borrow money and sell bonds.

Fire District Board decisions thus have a direct impact on the lives and property of local residents

The prevalence and increasing severity of wildfires mean that the role of fire districts is critical in our community.

The Washington County Fire Districts can be found here.