Spring, Texas – Harris County Emergency Services District No. 11 (ESD 11) has begun the training of new personnel as it prepares to launch its new in-house ambulance service. 180 new ESD 11 paramedics, emergency medical technicians, and 911 telecommunicators began training on July 12.
The new ambulance service, Harris County ESD 11 Mobile Healthcare, will begin serving the community on September 1, 2021. To have the service fully-functioning by that date, the new employees will be trained on policies and procedures, department facilities and systems, and administrative tasks in addition to their occupation-specific training.
“We are excited to begin working with the incredible men and women who will make up ESD 11 Mobile Healthcare,” said ESD 11 Chief Executive Officer Douglas Hooten. “We are 100 percent committed to being an employee-centric employer. It is our job to give our team members the tools and support they need to do the best job possible – that is what they and the entire ESD 11 community deserve.”
The new service aims to consolidate and refresh 911 ambulance operations for the area. ESD 11 has stated its intention to use top-of-the-line emergency medical equipment, including 40 new hybrid-engine ambulances- nine more than were previously on the streets serving the community.
Progress is also being made on ESD 11’s new campus located at 18334 Stuebner Airline Road in Spring. The first phase of construction includes a renovation of the main administrative building which will house the 911 call center and operational deployment center.
These changes to ESD 11’s operations are expected to benefit the communities served in the form of improved efficiency, faster response times, and lowered costs. Bringing these services in-house will save taxpayers an estimated six million dollars each year. This more-for-less trade is manifested in having more ambulances on the road than before while saving significant amounts of money.
“Building this campus, having everything and everyone in one place, is about being efficient,” said Hooten. “Efficiency in our staffing, our maintenance, and ultimately in our readiness. It’s the reason ESD 11 will be able to put more ambulances on the road, for a lot less taxpayer money.”
The decision to bring operations in-house and to create Harris County ESD 11 Mobile Healthcare came after a unanimous December 2020 board decision to not renew the contract with the previous ambulance service provider, Cypress Creek Emergency Medical Services (CCEMS.) The decision followed troubling findings in a forensic audit of CCEMS financial activity. The audit, ordered by ESD 11 and performed by PFK Texas, revealed anomalies including unequal payroll allocations, overpayments, and over-refunds. PKF estimates approximately 10 million dollars in unaccounted public funds.
Harris County ESD 11 Mobile Healthcare will serve over 600,000 residents across 177 square miles of North Harris County.