New Randall County Fire Department Covers More Land

Back in business.. The Randall County fire department is ready to respond to calls tonight.

As the department gears up for an active fire season.. They are also getting everyone on the same page and fully running under the Sheriff's department's jurisdiction.

But this arrangement is only temporary... So we asked the new fire marshal what this means for safety and taxes in the county.

The new department may bring safety concerns because they have more ground to cover.

That's because the Umbarger Fire Department is now part of Randall County Fire.

The three stations cover from McCormick north to the Potter County line or Amarillo city limits, and from Blessing road to the County Line.

With so much area to cover the department has taken precautionary steps.

Fire Marshal Dennis Rice says "We are working with other departments that they automatically respond when there is a call. So we not only have our department, we have other departments coming to help."

As far as taxes... No extra money has been asked for to run the department so far..

But that may change.

Rice says, "Right now we are operating on what was the previous years budgets, we are still maintaining that. Like everything as prices increase and things increase I'm sure eventually it will increase too."

Officials hope to pass the torch on the department in the next budget period.

And that includes hiring someone to run operations for RFD.

When the department leaves the sheriff's control, it should be like any other county owned division..

But not run by a third party, a big problem with the original agreement.