‘It’s time for change’: Bexar-Bulverde Volunteer Fire Department merges with county emergency services district

All staff, gear and stations transferred over with the merger at the beginning of this month

BEXAR COUNTY, Texas – After nearly 60 years of service, the Bexar-Bulverde Volunteer Fire Department will undergo a few changes.

“Nobody likes change, but it was time to really merge into operating within the county sphere,” Bexar County Emergency Services District No. 3 executive director Jerry Bialick said.

The department merged with Bexar County EMS No. 3 at the beginning of June. The merger came after the department served north and northeast Bexar County for nearly 60 years.

Bialick said residents won’t notice much of a difference with the merger.

“Same people, same trucks, same stations, same operations,” Bialick said. “We kept everybody, and so, it was a pretty easy move.”

The department had a service contract with ESD No. 3 for years. Now, the contract is gone — and the word “volunteer” is no longer in the name — but staff, gear and stations will all stay.

“We’re still going to have volunteer firefighters,” Bialick said. “We’re still working through some of the semantics.”

Bialick said the merger happened because of the growth in Bexar County.

“How did the growth of this area of Bexar County really impact this merger?” KSAT asked Bialick.

“Well, you know, it’s all part of it,” Bialick said.

Bialick said calls for the fire department have soared since 2017, showing a growing need for more resources. He said the department has had conversations about consolidating for years.

While the department’s future looks a little different, much will remain the same.

“There are no added expense to the public and no drop in service,” Bialick said.

This week, Bexar County ESD No. 3 announced plans to build a new fire station on Borgfeld Drive with hopes for a groundbreaking next January.

About the Authors

Avery Everett is a news reporter and multimedia journalist at KSAT 12 News. Avery is a Philadelphia native. If she’s not at the station, she’s either on a hiking or biking trail. A lover of charcuterie boards and chocolate chip cookies, Avery’s also looking forward to eating her way through San Antonio, one taco shop at a time!

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