Editor's note: This story was updated at 1:12 p.m. April 6 with quote from Regina Adams. It was also updated April 10 to clarify that ESD No. 11 funds emergency medical services, not other emergency services like fire suppression.
After months of arguments and withheld payments, Harris County Emergency Services District No. 11 and Cypress Creek EMS agreed to a $10.8 million budget for the remainder of their contract, according to an April 2 ESD No. 11 press release.
ESD No. 11 is the taxing entity that funds emergency medical services in its coverage area, which includes Spring and Klein. CCEMS, a nonprofit, has provided ambulance and emergency services in that same service area since 1975. The two entities have been in the process of ending their contract for several months. They met during an April 1 special meeting after tempers flared during budget discussions. According to ESD No. 11, CCEMS asked for regular payments of $1,359,283 per month or its final day of service would be April 17. The commissioners eventually agreed to this amount.
“We still believe CCEMS is overcharging ESD 11, but we will address that in the lawsuit,” said Regina Adams of the law firm Radcliffe Bobbitt Adams Polly PLLC, which represents ESD No. 11, in the press release. “Yesterday, however, our primary goal is to ensure that ESD 11 residents have the emergency care they are used to and that goal was accomplished.”
In an email statement, CCEMS CEO Wren Nealy said the approved budget will allow for a “safe and orderly transition.”
“Now, Cypress Creek EMS Red Shirts can provide their excellent service without the overwhelming burden of wondering if they will get a paycheck in two weeks,” Nealy said. “CCEMS will continue to provide the gold standard of pre-hospital emergency medical care our community has come to know and expect, through the length of our contract with ESD 11 and beyond.”