Deer Park-Silverton Joint Fire District
April 1, 1999 was the first operational day for the Deer Park-Silverton Joint Fire District. Previous to the formation of the fire district, the cities of Deer Park and Silverton maintained their own separate departments, comprised primarily of volunteer firefighters and EMS personnel. During the years prior to the merger, the demand for emergency services increased to the point that the two departments were running automatic dispatch on most fire incidents, and were sharing responsibility for EMS services to both communities. Costs also began to escalate, as the communities were often buying similar equipment, as each department had to maintain the capability of operating independently.
Faced with these facts, the two departments began looking into the possible formation of a fire district to address both the service and the economic needs of the communities. It was decided that the best approach for this new district would be to run as a combination department, with full-time, part-time, and volunteer personnel. With the decision made on how to organize and run the proposed joint district, the departments went to the voters to ask for the required funding. In November of 1998 the voters approved a tax levy to finance the Deer Park-Silverton Joint Fire District.
The district provides fire and EMS services to Deer Park, Silverton, and parts of Columbia Township. The fire district protects approximately 12,350 people living in a five square mile area. The district is primarily residential, with some light industry. There is an Indiana & Ohio rail line that runs through the district, as does Interstate 71.
The fire district responds to over 2,400 calls for service annually. Approximately 75% of these details are requests for EMS (paramedic) service. The fire district also performs life safety (fire) inspections of businesses and places of assembly, and will conduct home safety inspections at the request of our residents.
Amity Elementary, Deer Park High School, and Silverton Paideia Academy are all located within the fire district. Besides providing fire and EMS services, and life safety inspections to these institutions, the district also provides fire prevention and education programs to these schools.
The district is also home to four residential institutions. Horizon Post-Acute Care, Horizon Nursing and Rehabilitation, and Amber Park are located on Galbraith Road in Deer Park; the Residence at Garden Gate is located on Ohio Avenue in Silverton. The Residence at Garden Gate and Horizon provide around the clock nursing care, while Amber Park contains a mix of independent and assisted living units.
The department currently consists of nine full-time firefighters and a full-time district clerk. This staffing is supplemented by both part-time and volunteer employees, bringing the district’s active roster to over 40 people. The district itself is overseen by a fire board, which is made up of residents, business owners, and government officials from the two communities.