About Us

Department History

Travis County Emergency Services District No.12 encompasses approximately 95 square miles of northeast Travis County which includes the City of Manor and the Village of Webberville.
The outlying areas of Travis County are covered by 13 Emergency Services Districts, all of which were created by public vote. ESD 12 was created in 1996 after voters approved the change from Rural Fire Protection District #9.
The ESD is governed by a board of five members who are appointed by the Commissioners Court of Travis County and serve two-year terms. These board members are responsible for developing and administering the annual budget for ESD No.12 as well as establishing the tax rate for the district. Funding for ESD No.12 is done through property taxes that are set at a rate that currently cannot exceed .10 cents per $100 dollar property evaluation. This is a relatively small price to pay for quality fire protection and emergency medical first response care.

The Board of Commissioners for ESD No.12 also take an active part in the future planning and growth of the district and are responsible for the hiring of the district's Fire Chief, who serves along with the board in a capacity as the district's chief executive officer. ESD No.12 Commissioners are a vital part of everything the ESD is able to accomplish and the vision they share with the rest of our staff shows great commitment to our community.

The Board of Commissioners for Travis County ESD No.12:

Jesse Arellano, President
Clem Zabalza, Treasurer
Shawn Barnes, Secretary
Ronald Fowler,  Vice President

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In memory of Fire Commissioner
S.J. Fowler, President

Giles Garmon, Vice President - 1996 - 2013
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Please join us 6:30 pm on the second Tuesday of each month for our next ESD meeting!

Travis County District Map

What Is an E.S.D?

​Q: What is an Emergency Services District (ESD)?
A: An Emergency Services District is a political subdivision of the State of Texas, similar to a School District, Library District or Hospital District. There are 12 ESDs in Travis County.

Q: What does an ESD do?
A: Depending on the ESD’s creation documents, an ESD can provide fire protection, emergency medical services or both.

Q: How are ESDs created?
A: ESDs are crated through a “grassroots” effort: A petition signed by at least 100 voters in the proposed district must be presented to the County Commissioners Court in the county (or counties) in which the ESD is intended to exist. If the ESD is deemed feasible and necessary by the Commissioners Court, an election is called in which the voters in the proposed District must elect to create the District. If a majority of the votes are cast in favor of creation, the District is created.

Q: How are ESDs governed?
A: A board of five commissioners governs ESDs. In most counties in Texas, the County Commissioners Court appoints the commissioners to two-year terms. 

Q: So ESDs are an extension or department of the county’s government?
A: No, they are an independent governmental entity.

Q: How are ESDs funded?
A: ESDs are allowed to levy ad valorem (property) tax. The Texas Constitution states that ESDs may tax up to a max of $0.10 per $100 of property valuation. (A home certified at $100,000 will help fund the ESD by $100 a year) The ESD’s creation documents establish the district’s initial tax rate. 
ESDs may also collect sales tax, provided an election is held and voters approve this power. In Texas, 8.25% is the maximum allowed sales tax rate. The state collects 6.25%, leaving 2% available to eligible local jurisdictions, including ESDs. An ESD may collect anywhere from .125% to 2% of the local sales tax rate depending on availability and subject to voter approval.

Q: Do ESD boards have meetings?
A: By law, ESD boards must meet at least once a month. All meetings are subject to the Texas Open Meetings Act. ESDs must also comply with the Texas Public Information Act concerning open records requests and records retention.

Q: Is there any training or continuing education required for ESD Commissioners?
A: Yes, each commissioner must complete at least 6 hours of certified training in a two-year period.

Q: Are ESDs subject to Truth-in-Taxation requirements regarding their budgets and tax rates?
A: Yes. As a political subdivision, ESDs must comply with all Truth-in-Taxation requirements.

Q: How do ESDs provide services to the public?
A: ESDs provide services in a variety of ways. Some ESDs chose to contract with an independent service provider, such as a fire department or an ambulance service. Other ESDs chose to function as the service provider themselves, taking on the role of overseeing the actual day-to-day management of the services.