ESD 11 Special Meeting Recap – CCEMS files second lawsuit against Texas Attorney General

Spring, Texas – July 1st, 2015:  Harris County Emergency Services District #11 called a Special Meeting Thursday morning to discuss several matters regarding it’s contracted service provider, Cypress Creek EMS.  Cypress Creek EMS is contracted by HCESD11 and operated using public funds to serve nearly 500,000 residents in northern Harris County.

(District = HCESD11)

The meeting was called to session at 10:10am at 7111 Five Forks Drive in Spring, Texas.

Item number one and two were addressed after the meeting was called to session.

1. To review and take action on the of possibilities of co-location of EMS stations and fire stations with HCESD7/Spring Fire Department, including Spring Fire Department Station 75 rebuild.

2. To review and take action on engagement of special counsel to assist district with real estate maters involving co-locations of EMS stations and fire stations with HCESD7/Spring Fire Department

  • HCESD11 has shown interested in moving Station 56 located at Spring Cypress & Holzwarth to Spring Fire Department Station 75 located near FM 2920 & Falvel. Commissioner Brost stated that there is very poor coverage area in the North Hampton subdivision that needs to be addressed.  It is noted that Station 513 will be located inside of the Exxon campus and Station 54 is located at Hooks Airport.
  • CCEMS Executive Director England stated that fourteen 24 hour peek trucks is all they are going to need.  England went on to say that in the next 6 years they plan on having four float trucks (used during busy hours), one on Louetta, one on Cypresswood and two on FM 1960.
  • Brost asks England why these huge areas of their district are not covered properly? England states they do not run enough calls in North Hampton to put an ambulance there.
  • Commissioner Plummer was not educated on this matter and seemed to think that there was an ambulance station on Gosling Road. Brost informed Plummer that Montgomery County Hospital District previously had an ambulance there but it has since been relocated.
  • HCESD11 was given a map that England created back in 2012.  District stated they want to see an updated map.

    “We would all love to have an ambulance at our back door but the bottom line is it’s not going to happen” England says.

  • England doesn’t agree with Station 513 being constructed in the Exxon campus because Station 56 is located at Spring Cypress & Holzwarth.
  • Brost explains that the Exxon campus will attract an estimated 40,000 people per day along side the traffic from the Grand Parkway.  Brost continues by saying that most ambulance services don’t even service 40,000 people in their entire district and explains the importance of having an ambulance in the complex. Other commissions nodded in agreeance with Brost.
  • HCESD11 Attorney, Howard Katz informs England that it was originally his decision to construct a station inside of the complex.
  • Brost circles two large gaps in the CCEMS service area.
  • Katz recommends that HCESD11 meet with HCESD7/Spring Fire Department and discuss joint station opportunities.

3. To review third party communications addressing HCESD11 and Cypress Creek EMS Operations

4. To review and take action on HCESD11 requests to Cypress Creek EMS under service agreements for documents and information that the Texas Attorney General and/or Harris County District Attorney has requested and which fall under or relate to District funding.

5. To review and take action on engagement of special counsel to assist with District’s request to Cypress Creek EMS under service agreements for documents and information.

6. To discuss EMS/ambulance billing in the context of Cypress Creek EMS budget and District funding, including entertainment and/or other non-EMS items for possible methods for cost savings in District funding.

  • Katz explains that there have been various activities in regards to public information requests from third parties and HCESD11.  He explains that these requests have been for financial documents and SOG/Standard Operating Guidelines for the CCEMS Tactical Medical team. CCEMS stated they do not plan on releasing the documents.  The attorney that represents CCEMS stated that they have filed a second lawsuit against the Texas Attorney General to keep these records private. Katz goes on to say that CCEMS had no Standard Operating Guidelines to release for the Tactical Team.
  • England asks HCESD11 what an SOG was.
  • Brost asks England why he allows Tactical team members to run around with guns as their salaries are paid for with public money.  He goes on to ask why there is not an SOG for them to follow.
  • Brost asks England if the Tactical team responded to the shooting/stabbing at the Harris County College and who requested them to respond?  England was unsure who requested them.  Brost then asks England if his Tactical team responds with guns? England responded with the comment – “yes, of course they do, they’re cops.”
  • England tells Brost he needs to understand the program.  Brost explains that he is trying to understand the program by requesting the SOG but CCEMS states there is no such document.
  • England states he is unsure what type of guns his Tactical team members carry.
  • England smarts off and says “the next thing y’all will ask for is if we have a helicopter.”
  • HCESD11 members continue to discuss this issue.  England raises his voice and screams for everybody to calm down.
  • The attorney that represents CCEMS interrupted HCESD11 as a discussion was taking place.  HCESD11 informs the attorney that he has not yet been acknowledged.

    England again raises his voice and screams “WOAH, WOAH, WOAH, HEY, HEY, THAT’S NOT EVEN RIGHT.  YOU ARE IN MY BUILDING AND YOU WILL BE RESPECTFUL.”

  • Brost informs England that he is in his meeting with the District.
  • England suggests the meeting be stopped and everyone leave.
  • Katz explained to HCESD11 that CCEMS agreed to have two District members meet with them in private to discuss payroll information.

The meeting then was opened for public comment.

Wayne Dolcefino, President of Dolcefino Consulting stated that he informed CCEMS months ago in court that he was not interested in confidential police records but strictly financial documents. He goes on to say that the expenditure of funds is a negligent way by CCEMS is this running legal battle and the costs associated could be used in other areas such as medical supplies, lowering taxes or fixing ambulances.

Dolcefino expresses his frustrations with CCEMS’s decision to fight the Texas Attorney General and the District Attorney who has charged CCEMS criminally.

Dolcefino stated his firm spent over $20,000 last month alone fighting this legal battle. Dolcefino informs the board that CCEMS is spending this money, if not more, and as elected officials HCESD11 is fundamentally responsible to insure public funds are being used appropriately and in the best way possible. He then states his frustrations with CCEMS’s request to meet in a private setting.

“The Public Information Act, Open Meetings Act and Chapter 22 of the Business Organization code were created not so elected officials could go in a private room and look at public documents, they were created, for the public to see them” Dolcefino says.  “It is the public that is paying the taxes and each of you are elected to represent them but cannot eliminate the publics right to know.”

There were no further public comments. The meeting moved into executive session and was then adjourned.

The next HCESD11 meeting date has not yet been announced.  Spring Happenings will bring you the latest information on this story.

Note: Spring Happenings has reached out to multiple representatives with CCEMS but they have all denied comment.

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