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Difference Between a Fire Department and a Fire District

Wyoming Fire Districts Map

Understanding the structure of the fire department or fire district you are applying for is very important, and it’s important for you to know the difference and what is the best fit for you as an new firefighter.

During the application process you will commonly see departments identified as Fire Departments or Fire Districts. I have often been asked what’s the differences between a Fire Department and A Fire District? A fire department is typically tied to a city and the boundaries of that city. The city fire department is funded by the taxes collected by that city. A Fire District is typically tied to several communities and unincorporated areas outside of these communities and is funded by property taxes from the area they serve.

Why do Districts Exist?

There are several factors that will influence the development of a fire district, however, typically the main driving factor is to bring smaller communities and unincorporated areas together under one fire service providor. This helps to provide better service to all the area while reducing redundancy in service and costs associated with this redundancy.