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Message from Fire Chief Vontz

Over the years, we have witnessed significant growth in our community, and our population is gradually aging. As a result, the demands on our fire department have increased, and we are facing challenges in maintaining the level of coverage needed to ensure prompt and efficient emergency response. 
Currently, our apparatus operates with two responders on board, but due to the expanding community and its evolving needs, we find it necessary to increase the number of responders on each apparatus to three. This change will significantly enhance our capabilities and response times, ensuring that we can provide the best possible service during emergencies. 
To maintain our ISO 2 fire rating coverage, which plays a vital role in insurance premiums and overall community safety, we must increase our staffing. If we fail to achieve this goal, our ISO rating could potentially be downgraded to an ISO 5. The cost implications of this downgrade would far exceed the modest increase in our fire fee.   
The table below is an example of the approximate cost difference in homeowners’ insurance and fire fee cost based on insurance assessed home value.  The median home values for our districts range from $400,000 to $600,000.  The green values approximate the annual savings to homeowners if we maintain an ISO 2. 

To transition to three responders per apparatus, we estimate that the fire fee would need to be raised by nearly $7.00 per month for each household. We understand that any increase in fees requires careful consideration, but we believe it is a small price to pay for the invaluable benefits of improved fire protection and emergency response. 
The National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) and the Texas Commission on Fire Protection (TCFP) both recommend a minimum of three responders on each apparatus for an effective emergency response. Having three responders significantly enhances our abilities to perform various tasks during emergencies, ensuring better scene management, more effective search and rescue operations, and increased safety for our responders. 
Moreover, it is essential to highlight that this increase in staffing will have a direct and positive impact on medical calls as well. Many of the emergency calls we receive are medical in nature, and having three responders allows us to provide more comprehensive medical care while waiting for the arrival of EMS personnel. 
We recognize the vital role our community plays in our operations, and we deeply appreciate your continued support. By working together, we can ensure that our community remains a safe and secure place to live and raise our families. 
On September 19th and 20th, we will hold town hall meetings and informational sessions to address any questions or concerns you may have regarding this initiative. Your feedback and input are valuable to us, and we encourage you to participate in these discussions. The Town Hall meeting on Sept. 19th will be held at the Harvest Green Rec Center at 3400 Harvest Corner Dr, Richmond, TX 77406 at 6:30pm. The Town Hall meeting on Sept. 20th will be held at Pecan Grove Fire Station 1 at 727 Pitts Rd, Richmond, TX 77406 at 6:30pm.
Thank you for your attention to this matter, and we look forward to your support as we strive to enhance our fire department's capabilities and secure a safer future for our community. 
Fire Chief Jerod Vontz 
Pecan Grove Volunteer Fire Department 

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Dear Residents and Community Members,  

I hope this message finds you in good health and high spirits. As the Fire Chief of Pecan Grove Volunteer Fire Department, I am writing to address an important matter that concerns the safety and well-being of our beloved community. 

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