Harris County Emergency Services District No. 11 commissioners received updates on Phase 1 of construction on the district’s new campus during the board’s May 19 meeting.

Once completed, the 43-acre campus—located at 18334 Stuebner Airline Road, Spring—will house the district’s main administration building as well as the its ambulance service’s 911 call center, ambulance deployment center, fleet maintenance facility and car wash.

According to ESD 11 Mobile Healthcare CEO Doug Hooten, the roughly $20 million first phase of construction—which includes the emergency medical services provider’s new 911 call center, billing center, and fleet maintenance and deployment facilities—has mostly wrapped up with a handful of touchup items remaining. Employees moved into the new facility in April, he said.

“[The new campus] has the latest and greatest in communications technology,” Hooten said during an April 19 interview with Community Impact Newspaper.

Hooten noted the 911 call center employs new computer aided dispatch software that uses artificial intelligence to update data over time, allowing it to make predictions on call volume during certain times of the day, as well as the location where the calls are most likely to originate from.

"Normally, you just have call volume that you would prepare for, [but] we can track call volume by hour, day, days a week, type of calls and locations of calls because we get coordinates on all the calls," he said. "That allows us to deploy ambulances into those areas to handle that expected call volume."

While the software provides the district with a historical baseline for call types and volumes, Hooten said during the May 19 meeting that there can be days in which the number of calls exceed expectations.

“We had an unusual occurrence last week on a Wednesday—about a two-hour block of time,” Hooten said. “I have no explanation as to why, but our [call] volume was three times higher than it’s ever been during those hours, which created a lot of stress in the system. ... Sometimes that happens in EMS.”

Moving forward, Hooten said the district will move on to Phase 2 of the project, which will entail completing the administrative side of the new campus.

In other business, Dorothy Dalton and Zach Dunlap were sworn in as commissioners following their wins in the May 7 local elections. Dalton and Dunlap were scheduled to be sworn in May 19, but both were unable to attend the ceremony due to previously scheduled engagements.