Ponderosa Volunteer Fire Department proudly protects 48000 people living in an area of 13 square miles of unincorporated Harris County. We operate out of 3 stations that protect a metro suburban area. Our department is a public department whose members are primarily on a volunteer status. The Ponderosa VFD was formed in 1972 when the area began to develop. We were Spring VFD Station #3 at that time, and we chose to go on our own in 1976. Up until 1984 the area grew very rapidly. Donations were too difficult to obtain so we opted to be a taxing district of 3 cents per hundred dollars of evaluation ($100,000 property pays $30/year). That lasted until 1993 when tax growth did not keep up with our requirements. We asked our water districts to place voluntary contributions on the water bills and that sufficed until 1996 when we converted to another type of tax district with a six cent tax rate. Our 2003 budget is $1,250,000. There were 1540 responses in 2002.