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The History of the Trophy Club Fire Department

Although the Trophy Club Fire Department is relatively young compared to other area fire departments, our history is rather unique. When the development of Trophy Club began in the mid 1970’s, the initial fire and EMS services were provided by the Roanoke Volunteer Fire Department. As families started to move into the development, several residents of Trophy Club started volunteering with Roanoke. 

The original fire station in Trophy Club was located at the intersection of Trophy Club and Indian Creek in a building that was donated by the developer, Gibraltar. That building was shared with Planned Cable, the local cable TV provider, and housed a fire apparatus that belonged to the Roanoke Volunteer Fire Department.

In 1982, the Trophy Club Volunteer Fire Department was formed because of two significant events; a well-used fire truck was donated to the growing number of volunteer firefighters operating out of the Trophy Club fire station, and Planned Cable offered a matching grant of $20,000 for the purchase of an ambulance in return for a cable TV franchise in Trophy Club. The grant had one stipulation, the ambulance had to be housed in Trophy Club and titled in the name of a Trophy Club entity. Several of the Trophy Club volunteers formed the Trophy Club Volunteer Fire Department (TCVFD) and organized a fundraising drive to come up with the other $20,000 of the matching grant. That grant allowed the TCVFD to purchase the town’s first ambulance. 

Up to this point all funding for both fire and EMS had come from voluntary donations and limited support from Denton County. In 1982, the Municipal Utility Districts (MUDs) held an election to initiate a fire tax to fund the fire department. The election passed and the Trophy Club Fire Department was now funded by the MUD, but still operated using volunteer staffing. 

The state legislation that allowed a MUD to operate a fire department, did not allow a MUD to operate an EMS department, and so volunteers formed a separate and independent entity to continue to operate the ambulance service funded by voluntary contributions and limited funding from Denton County. On paper the fire services and EMS were separate organizations, yet the two operated under one seamless command structure with most residents completely unaware that they were separate entities.

In 1984, the MUDs purchased the first two modern pieces of fire apparatus for the department, and in 1985 began the construction of a larger fire station at the corner of Trophy Club Drive and Municipal Drive. 

The Town of Trophy Club was formed in 1985, and by 1987 the Town of Trophy Club took over the funding for the EMS department. Both departments continued to be operated by volunteer staff. At the peak, approximately 30 citizens were regular volunteers with the Trophy Club Fire Department, however, the required training to become a firefighter/paramedic had soared to over 2,000 hours with an additional 100 hours of continuing education required annually. It was becoming increasingly difficult to recruit and maintain volunteers that were trained and certified in both fire and EMS operations.

In 1990, the first two paid firefighters, Gene Parker and Dale Skinner, were hired by the MUD. There were still two separate organizations, the fire service, which was funded and managed by the MUD, and the EMS service which was funded by the Town of Trophy Club. The decision was made to split the personnel costs equally by both entities.  

In 1999, the neighboring Town of Westlake joined the Town of Trophy Club to form the Trophy Club Westlake Department of Public Safety in order to provide police, fire, and EMS services to both communities. The arrangement was short-lived, and a year later the Town of Westlake removed itself from the agreement. Trophy Club now had a town police department, a town EMS department, and a MUD fire department with the staffing costs for the fire and EMS personnel once again split between the town and the MUD.                                                                      

Since that time, the Trophy Club Fire Department has grown to meet the needs of the community. In 2007, a brand new, state-of-the-art Pierce fire engine was purchased and put into service along with a second ambulance outfitted with the latest technology at the time. 

In 2010, construction began on a new fire station on the same lot as the old fire station at corner of Trophy Club Drive and Municipal Drive. While demolition of the old station and construction of the new station took place, the fire department was relocated to a temporary site in the Trophy Club Country Club parking lot. For about a year, the Trophy Club Fire Department operated out of a construction trailer and a large tent. 

In 2011, the Trophy Club Fire Department moved into their new fire station at 295 Trophy Club Drive. This new 12,000 square foot building was a vast improvement from the old 3600 square foot station that once stood in it’s place. The new station added a training room, administrative offices, additional bedrooms, bathrooms, a weight room, and a large modern kitchen. This fire station houses state of the art emergency response apparatus, including one fire engine, one aerial truck, two mobile intensive care unit (MICU) equipped ambulances, one paramedic squad quick response vehicle, one wildland fire fighting vehicle, two chief level command vehicles, a rehab vehicle, and one community risk reduction (CRR) trailer.   

The Trophy Club Fire Department is currently staffed by three shifts of firefighters who work a 48/96 schedule. Each shift begins at 6:30 am and ends at 6:30 am two days later. Our minimum staffing level is five firefighters on duty at all times which is accomplished by a roster of 16 full-time paid professional firefighters supplemented with 17 part-time paid professional firefighters. The Fire Chief is the head of the department and is supported by a Deputy Chief/Fire Marshal and a Captain assigned to each shift., Even though fire and EMS staff is still funded equally by both the MUD and the Town of Trophy Club they have always and will always operate as one fire department.