Spring, Texas – The Harris County Emergency Services District No. 11 (ESD11) who is tasked with providing 911 ambulance service to over 600,000 residents of Northwest Harris County voted today to terminate the agreement with their current service provider.
During a September 3rd Special Meeting, the Board of Commissioners voted unanimously to terminate their agreement with Cypress Creek EMS (CCEMS). ESD11 gave a 360-day notice to terminate but expects CCEMS to continue answering 911 calls during that time.
ESD11 also voted to enter into an agreement with the Harris County Emergency Corps to provide supplemental or backup ambulance services if needed.
This vote comes after years of disagreements between the two organizations, specifically the lack of financial transparency by CCEMS. In 2019, KPRC’s Joel Eisenbaum uncovered a CCEMS manager fixing private vehicles and pocketing the cash while on the clock.
ESD 11 published a request for qualifications (RFQ) back in April of this year in search of a potential replacement. Nine emergency medical providers responded to the RFQ. In July, ESD 11 announced that three of the nine providers would advance to the next round of interviews.
According to their website, an alternative would be for ESD 11 to take over the operation of EMS services instead of contracting the service out to a third-party provider. This would fall in line with other local Emergency Services Districts who have chosen to manage the operations directly.
ESD 11 issued the following statement:
“Today, Harris County Emergency Services District No. 11 (the “District”) voted to give Cypress Creek Emergency Medical Services (“CCEMS”) 360-days’ notice that the District is terminating its Service Agreement with CCEMS. The Service Agreement allows either the District or CCEMS to terminate for convenience and without cause at any time, with proper notice. The District’s decision was not made lightly, but is one the District believes will enable it to provide the highest quality of emergency medical care to its residents while improving transparency and efficiency.
The District’s decision comes after years of trying to get CCEMS to cooperate with the District’s requests for improvements to the services CCEMS provides, and years of trying to get CCEMS to fairly and properly account for its use of taxpayer dollars. CCEMS has resisted the District’s efforts on both fronts, as documented in at least sixteen months of correspondence between the parties posted on the District’s website. While the District’s decision gives CCEMS 360 days to prepare for the termination of the Service Agreement, the District reserves the right to immediately terminate the Service Agreement if the District finds it necessary to protect its residents or taxpayer funds.
In the meantime, the District is confident that a smooth transition will be achieved with the help and cooperation of CCEMS management. Such cooperation includes CCEMS delivering on the promise it made today to provide the District with all documents requested in connection with the District’s ongoing investigation into CCEMS’s use of taxpayer dollars. Further, the District knows that the men and women of CCEMS will provide the highest quality of care to the District’s residents over the next year.
The District expects that the coming changes will bring new opportunities for its residents to realize improved care and accountability, and for CCEMS field and communications center staff to continue contributing their skills and training to District residents as the District begins its next chapter.”