The Sam Bass Fire Department began in 1980 as the Sam Bass Company of the Round Rock Volunteer Fire Department and was staffed solely by volunteers. There were 10 charter members at that time and the annual operating budget was roughly $25,000. All support was received through generous donations from the public.
The original two fire trucks were a used 1971 brush truck that came from the oil fields and a 1946 Chevy pumper. They were housed in a 2-car garage that also served as the meeting and training facility. In 1984, the department obtained its first Class-A pumper and in the late 1980ís the Brushy Creek MUD donated a portable building that served as the first real classroom and office for the fire department.
In the early 1990ís, three bays were built at Station 1 and the previous building was donated to a local church and hauled away. Over the years, two more bays have been added, along with a conference room, foyer, and living quarters for the crews.
In the mid 1990ís, voters approved the creation of ESD 2 and in 1998 Sam Bass went from being a volunteer fire department to a combination department, utilizing both paid staff and volunteers. In 2003, an additional station was built. In February 2004, Station 2 was fully staffed and operational.
Sam Bass Fire Department currently owns and operates eleven apparatus and has mutual aid agreements with the Austin, Cedar Park, and Jollyville Fire Departments. SBFD is staffed daily by six paid crew members (three per station), 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, operating on a 24 hours-on / 48 hours-off rotating schedule. There are currently twenty-two paid crew members and a fluctuating number of volunteers.