Cypress Creek Emergency Medical Services has experienced a temporary staffing shortage as it enters the final months of its contract with Harris County Emergency Services District No. 11.

CCEMS officials were on hand to discuss challenges at ESD No. 11’s May 20 board of directors meeting.

Last September, ESD No. 11 voted to terminate its contract with CCEMS, effective this September. CCEMS provides ambulance services throughout a roughly 177-square-mile coverage area in Harris County.

District officials announced in December that it will launch its own ambulance service, dubbed ESD No. 11 Mobile Health Services, which is set to debut Sept. 4. According to ESD No. 11 Executive Director Doug Hooten, hiring priority is being given to those seeking to move to the district from CCEMS.

At the May 20 meeting, ESD No. 11 Commissioner Kevin Brost asked CCEMS officials whether the emergency medical services provider was ensuring 19 service trucks were available to serve the community each day, in accordance with its contract.

CCEMS CEO Wren Nealy said the ability to use two of the trucks has depended on staff availability, but he noted recent replacement hiring would allow CCEMS to operate at full capacity by June 1.

After the meeting, Nealy said CCEMS’ recent staffing shortage has, in part, been a result of the approaching end of its contract with ESD No. 11.

“It’s people leaving to either pursue other careers or to go work for other EMS systems in the area,” Nealy said.