What is an ESD?
The organization that is now Bulverde Spring Branch Fire and EMS actually had three separate beginnings.
1959 - The Spring Branch Volunteer Fire Department was the first emergency services organization in the Bulverde Spring Branch area.
1966 – Bulverde Volunteer Fire Department was formed because of an obvious need for structure and brush firefighting, but the founders also worked to form a Rescue Squad with medical capabilities in the formative years. Curtis Bremer was a large part of the organization and he continued to serve emergency services in a variety of ways until his death in 2016.
1978 - Bulverde-Spring Branch EMS was formed. Harry Heimer, Charles Kuhn, Al Cunningham and Larry Miller, MD, were the founding fathers of EMS. Ambulances ran out of a station that is now part of the new Singing Hills development.
1988 - Bulverde-Spring Branch EMS received taxpayer assistance through the formation of ESD #1 – the first Emergency Services District formed in Comal County.
2001 - Comal County Emergency Services District #4 and #5 were formed to improve public safety and provide a more stable funding base and source.
2014 - ESD #4 representing Spring Branch Fire, and ESD #5, representing Bulverde Fire, agreed that to strengthen the daily operations, they would form a single governance structure with the ESD #1 (EMS) . Bulverde Spring Branch Emergency Services, dba Bulverde Spring Branch Fire & EMS was created.
Emergency Service Districts (ESDs) are political subdivisions of the State of Texas. Their purpose is to support your Fire & EMS needs through the collection of tax dollars.
In the Bulverde Spring Branch area we have:
ESDs impose a sales and use tax and/or property tax to support or provide these services. In addition to other powers, an ESD may also own real or personal property, enter into contracts, employ agents, and accept donations. ESDs are the only practical way to adequately support emergency services in many Texas municipalities as well as suburban and rural areas of the state.
Each of these ESDs (#1, 4, and 5) have five (5) Commissioners all of whom are volunteers, appointed by our elected officials of the Comal County Commissioners Court to serve two-year terms of service. ESD Commissioners are required to receive orientation and trainings in areas such as the Texas Public Information Act and the Texas Open Meeting Act. Commissioners attend monthly meetings, selected conferences, and some serve on committees that meet periodically.
In Western Comal County, Bulverde Spring Branch Emergency Services (BSBES) has been created to manage the consolidated operations under the direction of Mechelle Salmon. The three ESDs will continue to provide funding for operations, buildings and equipment.