Press Release

Rep. Cuellar Announces $2 Million in Federal Funding for New Zapata County Fire Station

The Zapata Fire Department serves nearly 15,000 people

Washington | Arturo C. Olivarez, DC Press Secretary (956-970-1441) Washington, February 23, 2023
  • Zapata County Fire Station

Zapata, Texas - U.S. Congressman Henry Cuellar (TX-28) announced $2,000,000 in federal funding for Zapata County to construct a new, efficient fire station to replace the current building that was built in the 1980s. The current building has outlived its useful lifecycle and faces plumbing issues, water damage, and other structural damage. The new fire station will support both the Zapata County Fire Department and Zapata County Emergency Medical Services.

A breakdown of the funding is as follows: a $1,100,000 federal earmark secured by Congressman Cuellar in the FY23 Appropriations Bill and $900,000 from the American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA).

“Zapata County has been in dire need of a new fire station for quite some time now. The deteriorating conditions of the current building cause inefficiency problems and put our firefighter’s health at risk,” said Congressman Cuellar. “With the construction of this new fire station, Chief Arriaga and his fire department will be able to provide a higher quality service to Zapata County. This new building will also help us guarantee the health of our firefighters who risk their lives every day for us. I want to thank Chief Arriaga, Judge Joseph Rathmell,  and the Zapata County Commissioners for their collaboration in securing these funds and for their dedicated service to meet the needs of our community.”

“First and foremost, I would like to thank Congressman Henry Cuellar for his continued support to Zapata County and to the Zapata County Fire Dept. for securing $1,100,000 for our new state of the art fire station. I would also like to thank or County Judge Joe Rathmell and the commissioners court for also hearing our needs and doing their part and supporting this much needed project,” said Zapata County Fire Chief, Daniel Arriaga. “Our current fire station was built back in the 1980s. Along the years our county has grown so has our call volume. With that being said we have expanded our station along the years to accommodate the growth with most of the work being done by our own men and women. Even though these walls hold many good memories our station is over 40 years old and we are in need of a new fire station to better accommodate our brave men and women of the Zapata County Fire Dept. We have to keep in mind that for us firefighters and EMS personnel our station is our second home. Our men and women work 24 hr. shifts and work tirelessly day in and day out spending many hours and days at the station. So by building a new fire station it will come with upgraded kitchen, upgraded living and sleeping quarters, and upgraded restrooms and showers to better suit the needs of our personnel. We really appreciate Congressman Cuellar for always supporting the Zapata County Fire Dept. and look forward to completing this project in the near future.”

Previously, Congressman Cuellar secured a $1 million federal earmark for the construction of Zapata County’s first Emergency Operations Center (EOC).

Studies reveal that in the United States an average of 358,500 homes experience a structural fire each year, causing an average of 3,000 American deaths a year. Every day, at least one child dies from a fire inside a home. The Zapata County Fire Department serves a population of 14,415 people in an area of 999 square miles.