Katy, TX (February 25) Harris County Emergency Services District 48 Fire Department (HCESD 48) is continuing to move ahead with plans to enhance their service and response times as the volume of calls and constant growth of the Katy area shows little sign of stopping.
HCESD 48’s plans accelerated last summer, when the district voted to form a new combination Fire Department and invited all the men and women from the West I-10 Volunteer Fire Department to join them in creating a “Fire Department of the Future.” In August of 2015, HCESD 48 was proud that almost 95 percent of the former personnel chose to follow the vision Fire Chief Jeff Hevey and the HCESD 48 Commissioners, who gladly approved 100 percent of their applications. “Currently, almost 85 percent of the former active volunteer firefighters have made the choice to put on the new HCESD 48 patch and join us on this exciting journey,” said Fire Chief Hevey. “In fact, all but one of the active founding members of the West I-10 VFD, many who have served this area for more than 30 years, chose to join HCESD 48 and help us honor their great tradition of volunteerism while simultaneously modernizing the Fire and EMS service through this new model,” Hevey added.
What You Should Know: The vision for building a “Fire Department of the Future” began 36 years ago with the original founders of West I-10, including ESD 48 Board President Marshall Kramer, who foresaw the remarkable growth Katy was destined to experience. They knew that Katy would expand and change and so their original intent of launching West I-10 VFD was to develop a Fire Department that was ready to evolve and adapt to the area’s needs. With Katy growing at such a massive rate, Chief Hevey, the ESD Commissioners and the department’s members knew some changes had to be made and they began that process last summer.
Since the August 17, 2015, transition, HCESD 48 has enhanced its service in a number of ways:
- Created and staffed full-time firefighter and three 24-hour battalion chief positions.
- Expanded our paid firefighter roster to a total 84 fire suppression personnel.
- Added to our EMS roster that now staff four ambulances for a total of 55 EMS members.
- Increased the number and scope of our volunteer roles (More active now than in July).
- Enhanced readiness in a major crisis by having almost 200 members who call HCESD 48 home with 30 of them who can call HCESD 48 their full-time career.
- Improved response times with the addition of a better positioned Station 1.
- Developed the community team model and engaged residents in new and innovative ways.
- Obtained a TCFP training facility designation (online and onsite). Training saves lives!