Cypress Creek Emergency Medical Services
CCEMSLOGO.jpg
Motto: When seconds count...Count on us
Established 1975
Headquarters Houston, Texas
Staff type Full-time, Part-time, Volunteer
BLS or ALS ALS
Ambulances Type-III Mobile Intensive Care Units
Director Bradley J. England
Medical Director Levon Vartinian, MD
Website http://www.ccems.com/


Cypress Creek Emergency Medical Services (CCEMS) is an emergency medical service provider in Northwest Harris County in Houston, Texas. CCEMS is one of the most reliable EMS services in Houston, having a response time of about eight minutes.[1] All ambulances in use by CCEMS are MICU or Mobile Intensive Care Units, with at least one Paramedic, making all ambulances ALS units. CCEMS has a service area of approximately 177 square miles and 550,000 residents. CCEMS operates 14 stations plus 4 peak trucks, a communication center that dispatches both fire and ambulance, and an education center.[2]

History

In 1975, a tragic event occurred in which a man died from a heart attack without pre-hospital care. Afterward, the FM 1960 Community (The stretch of FM 1960 between I-45 and SH-249), took the initiative to form a non-profit emergency medical service which came to be known as Cypress Creek EMS, named after the large creek that runs through the area.

The community desperately raised funds to establish the service and they soon purchased their first ambulance. At this time, all of the CCEMS staff were volunteers with no reimbursement for their services. To this day, volunteers are a large and integral part of the staff and they range from non-medical drivers to emergency medical technicians, but the main staff is paid personnel.

The service relied heavily on donations and fund-raisers as it did not receive government funding. Third-Party billing was initiated in 1993 and allowed Cypress Creek EMS to bill insured patients to help with reimbursement. CCEMS is affiliated with Emergency Services District 11 and is now partially funded with area tax dollars.[3]

One of the notable things about CCEMS is their bright red uniforms. CCEMS is one of the very few services in the country that wears red uniforms. In order to keep an image of professionalism, members wear the uniforms year round as opposed to other services who may permit their members to wear shorts or polo shirts during the summer time.

The main fleet today consists of 18 MICU Type III ambulances, and two supervisor vehicles.

The first responder program allows qualified members to respond to calls in their surrounding area before a medic unit arrives.

CCEMS also has a bike team that performs first response at large events such as parades and festivities and a tactical team made up of members who are certified as police officers and paramedics. They provide front line medical support in high-risk operations conducted by local, state, and federal law enforcement agencies. Twice a year the tactical medics conduct a week-long course that draws police, medics, and doctors from all over the world. [4]

Cypress Creek EMS is not directly affiliated with Cypress Creek Volunteer Fire Department but CCVFD is dispatched through the CCEMS Comm Center which handles 9-1-1 and dispatch for 16 emergency agencies including the Harris County Fire Marshal's Office and Harris County HazMat.

Clinical Department

The Charles R. Hooks Education Center is a state of the art education facility which provides training programs for Emergency Care Attendants, EMT-Basic, and Paramedics. [5]

Cypress Creek EMS also offers training by the American Heart Association guidelines in:

  • Friends and Family CPR,
  • Heartsaver CPR,

In 2009, CCEMS opened a new education center, communications center, and station at 7111 Five Forks.

Stations

  • Medic 51/501/521 - Ponderosa Area
  • Medic 52 - Treaschwig
  • Medic 53 - Perry, Near SH-249
  • Medic 54 - Hooks Airport
  • Medic 55 - Champions Area
  • Medic 56 - Holzwarth Road ay FM 2920
  • Medic 57 - Bammel N. Houston
  • Medic 58/528 - Grant Road
  • Medic 511- Eldridge near Hwy 249
  • Medic 512 - Creekside on North Kuykendahl
  • Medic 513/563 - Springwoods Village near ExxonMobil

A fleet of 14 ambulances covers the district 24/7/365. There are 3-4 peak trucks operating regularly.

Communication Center

The Communication Center, or Comm Center for short, is the primary communication link between the public and CCEMS. When an individual dials 911 and it is determined to be a medical emergency within the service district of CCEMS, it is rerouted to the CCEMS Communication Center. The dispatcher then asks a series of questions to determine the situation. Once a determinant is formed, an ambulance is dispatched to the location. The dispatcher remains on the phone with the caller and asks additional questions to gain information about the event as well as determine the level of priority. The dispatcher also uses the information gained to determine whether the responding crew will need additional assistance such as Fire Department, Law Enforcement, Life Flight, or help from the on-duty supervisor. At this time, the ambulance is en-route and the information gained by the dispatcher is communicated to the ambulance crew.

From when the crew is en-route to the emergency until the crew is cleared from the hospital, they remain in contact with the comm center through portable radios, pagers, laptops, and cell phones. All trucks also have a Mobile data terminal (MDT) that allows them to transfer information without using online communication. The CCEMS Comm Center also works with other dispatch centers such as the Harris County Sheriff's Department and surrounding area EMS dispatch centers to provide and receive mutual aid.

The Comm Center dispatches fire apparatus in addition to ambulances in the area. The following fire departments and emergency agencies are dispatched through the CCEMS Comm Center: Spring Fire Department

  • Spring Fire Department
  • Ponderosa Fire Department
  • Cypress Creek Fire Department
  • Little York Fire Department
  • Klein Fire Department
  • Champions – ESD 29
  • ESD 48 Fire-EMS-Rescue
  • Westlake Fire Department
  • Community Fire Department
  • Harris County Fire Marshal 
  • Harris County Hazardous Materials
  • South East Texas Regional Advisory Council (SETRAC)
  • Emergency Medical Task Force 6 (EMTF6)
  • Pearland Fire Department
  • Stafford Fire Department

The Comm Center is currently located behind the CCEMS Administration building and Education Center at 7111 Five Forks in Spring, Texas 77379.

The CCEMS Comm Center uses the Field Response Guide by the National Academy of Emergency Medical Dispatch.

Awards/Accomplishments

  • Best Advanced Life Support System in Texas - 1985
  • Paramedic Emergency Medical Service of the Year for the United States - 1986
  • Excellence in Health Care Award - 1995 [7]
  • In 2006, CCEMS pioneered the Houston area’s first STEMI (Severe Heart Attack) Protocols, allowing Paramedics to bypass the Emergency Room and take patients straight to the Heart Catheterization Lab.
  • In 2007, CCEMS was one of the first four EMS systems in the country to deploy the Lucas Automatic CPR Device.
  • Best EMS in Texas 2009
  • Best Medical Director in Texas 2009/2011
  • Best EMS Provider in Texas 2011
  • In 2012, an independent panel of judges selected Cypress Creek EMS as one of the Principal Financial Group’s 10 Best Companies for Employee Financial Security.
  • In August 2016, CCEMS and ESD 48 Fire/EMS became the first ground EMS systems in the country to carry packed red blood cells and fresh plasma in the field.
  • Best EMS Educator in Texas 2016 - Rob Atripaldi
  • Best Comm Center in Texas 2017
  • In September 2017, CCEMS and ESD 48 Fire/EMS became the first in the U.S. to carry whole blood in the field for transfusion.
  • October 6, 2017 CCEMS became the first civilian ground EMS system in the country to transfuse blood in the field to a trauma patient

External links

References

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