Officials with Harris County Emergency Services District No. 13 and the Cypress Creek Fire Department celebrated the ground breaking for a new fire station Dec. 4 on Fallbrook Drive south of Beltway 8 in Cy-Fair.

The 16,100-square-foot station is the department's fifth and is being built with three bays, said Joby Copley with Joiner Architects, the architecture firm brought on to design the project.

The station will initially include a fire engine and an ambulance with room for a third vehicle to be added in the future as demand increases, officials said. The ambulance will be occupied through a lease agreement with another local agency that is to be determined, such as Cypress Creek Emergency Medical Services, CCFD Fire Chief Richard Lieder said.

The station will be staffed 24/7 with rotating staffs of four firefighters, Lieder said.

The $6.8 million station has been part of the district's plans dating back several years, officials said, and was made possible with funding raised from a sales tax that was approved in 2019 by voters within the department's service area.

ESD No. 13 has raised about $3 million in sales tax revenue with about one month left to go in the calendar year, Lieder said.

"That's certainly what we needed to build and staff this station," Lieder said. "We were fortunate that the voters approved that. We made a promise that if the sales tax was approved we would build and staff this station, and we're doing it."

The department's four existing stations are all located north and northwest of Beltway 8, and Lieder said the new station will help provide services faster to its surrounding area. That part of the service area can be difficult to reach during rush hour, when major roads such as Gessner Road become heavy with traffic, he said.

The new station will also allow the department to provide better assistance to neighboring departments, including the Cy-Fair Fire Department and the Jersey Village Fire Department, Lieder said.

"This region is really poor in overall resources for emergency services," he said. "This station is going to plug a big hole. This is a really good location here."

Because the department sends four engines to respond to structural fires, the addition of the fifth station will allow CCFD to have a fifth engine available to cover the district in those situations moving forward, Lieder said.

Copley said the new station is being built with several features that are meant to improve fire fighter safety particularly when it comes to preventing the inhalation of exhaust from the fire engine while it is idling in the station. Instead of being stored in lockers near the engine, all gear will be stored in a positively pressured room where they will not absorb exhaust fumes, he said.

The station is slated to be finished by October 2021, officials said.