Spring, Texas – Harris County Emergency Services District No. 11 (ESD 11) has announced that its new in-house ambulance service, ESD 11 Mobile Healthcare, will deploy six ambulances ahead of the service’s official launch date. According to an August 19 press release, the six ambulances will begin serving the community on August 20, with the rest of the fleet being deployed on September 1.
ESD 11 accelerated their preparations in response to a request for assistance from the district’s current contractor, Cypress Creek Emergency Medical Services (CCEMS). CCEMS has experienced staffing shortages and service disruptions that have caused delays in response time and left the community short of a full roster of ambulances.
The ESD 11 fleet will consist of 40 brand new Advanced Life Support (ALS) ambulances, including the six that are deploying early. The service will have up to 28 ambulances on the road at a time, nine more than were available with CCEMS. The additional ambulances and their strategic placement will provide the community greater coverage and faster response times.
CCEMS is obligated to continue ambulance services for ESD 11 until 7:00AM on September 1, at which time ESD 11 will begin full services for the district. With the end of the contract approaching, the private contractor has begun providing non-emergency transport services that have contributed to some instances of ambulance shortages.
In an open letter to CCEMS CEO Wren Nealy, ESD 11 Mobile Healthcare CEO Doug Hooten expressed disappointment in CCEMS’s prioritization of pay-per-ride non-emergency transport services to entities not affiliated with the district. Between August 3 and August 9, CCEMS conducted approximately 46 private transfers while 911 emergency calls were in holding status, during which the agency either was not able to respond or was relying on backup agencies to respond.
ESD 11 covers approximately 177 square miles of North Harris County, stretching from 249 to Humble and Beltway 8 to the Montgomery County line.