Welcome Chief Scott Ridenour

RIDENOUS, SCOTT _modified.jpgPlease join us in welcoming our newly appointed Fire Chief at South Hays Fire Department. We are excited to announce Scott J. Ridenour will be our Fire Chief for Hays County Emergency Services District #3 / South Hays Fire Department. Chief Ridenour will be taking the helm April 1st, 2024.

Chief Ridenour comes to South Hays with 33 years of experience in the Department of Defense as a firefighter on active duty and as a civil servant, currently holding the rank of Deputy Chief. Like all firefighters in Texas, the DOD certifications are also through the International Fire Service Accreditation Congress.

Chief Ridenour holds all required certifications through the Texas Fire Commission for his role as Chief. Chief Ridenour holds a bachelor’s degree in Fire Science and is a graduate of the prestigious Fire Service Chief Executive Officer program at Mays Business College at Texas A&M University. He is also certified as a Fire Officer IV and holds all of the FEMA Incident Command Certifications.

South Hays Fire Department has been experiencing great growth over the years to include an improved ISO rating and culminating in hiring our first career firefighting staff. Chief Ridenour’s experience and dedication will be a tremendous asset to South Hays Fire Department/ESD #3.

Press Release is available here. 


Full-time Firefighter Applications are being accepted NOW!

Submit your application and authorization for background check ASAP.


Burn Permit Application

If you wish to conduct outdoor burning at a residential location, email burn@co.hays.tx.us every day that you wish to burn. Include name, contact number and address of the burn. You will receive an automated return email notifying you if burning is allowed that day. Please check your spam/junk folder.


In the News:

Press Release

December 22, 2022

Hays County Emergency Services 3 has approved funding for career firefighters for the South Hays Fire Department.  South Hays Fire Department is currently an all-volunteer fire department staffed by amazing and dedicated men and women.  It is becoming increasingly harder to recruit and retain volunteer firefighters.  The economy is challenging, people leave the area for work and school and the training to be a firefighter is extensive.

Over the past 10 years the call volume like our surrounding departments has grown considerably.  As the tax base was not where it needed to be to hire firefighters, the district focused on improving our infrastructure and service to the community in the following ways:

  • Improve the Texas Fire Academy and internal training programs.  People who wish to start a fire service career come to South Hays to get their start.  They volunteer while in training and eventually become career firefighters.
  • Improve the fleet so that each fire station has a reliable compliment to meet the needs to that part of the district.
  • Improve facilities to prepare for career staff.
  • Update policies and procedures to prepare for career staff.
  • Improve the districts ISO rating.  Our ISO Public Protection Rating changed from an ISO PPC Class 7/9 to an ISO PPC Class 4/4Y for all property owners living in Hays County Emergency Services District #3.   Our residents could see a significant reduction on their homeowner’s insurance.

At the Board of Fire Commissioners meeting Monday, December 19, 2022, the board approved the funding for career firefighting staff for South Hays Fire Department for 2023.  This will make South Hays a Combination Fire Department of career and volunteer staff. 

A tremendous amount of work went into developing this plan by the Chief Officers, Firefighters and the Board of Fire Commissioners. 

Additionally, we would like to thank the Hays County Judge and our Commissioners for always being there to support us.


South Hays Fire Responds to Harvey.

Text to 9-1-1 service now available

Text to 9-1-1 is now available in Hays county, along with Bastrop, Blanco, Burnet, Caldwell, Fayette, Lee, Llano, Travis, and Williamson counties. The Texting 9-1-1 FAQ can answer many questions and points out the limitations of the service. 




Welcome to South Hays Fire Department


 Volunteer with us!


Useful Information

    Order to Raise Taxes posted 08/28/2023

    Notice of Public Hearing on Tax Increase posted 08/16/2023

    Notice about 2022 Tax Rates posted 08/16/2023

    2023 Tax Rate Calculation Worksheet posted 08/16/2023

    ESD #3 Public Notices & Meeting Announcements


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