Tomball Fire Department to hire 21 more firefighters by 2026, anticipates Station No. 4 breaking ground in April

Tomball Fire Department Station No. 1 responds to more than 60% of calls received. (Courtesy Tomball Fire Department)
Tomball Fire Department Station No. 1 responds to more than 60% of calls received. (Courtesy Tomball Fire Department)

Tomball Fire Department Station No. 1 responds to more than 60% of calls received. (Courtesy Tomball Fire Department)

The city of Tomball held a special workshop meeting Feb. 21 with the Tomball Fire Department presenting its long-range plan, including needs for 21 firefighters by 2026, three dispatchers, new equipment and Station No. 4 over the next few years.

Fire Chief Joe Sykora said the department is not meeting national standards with personnel numbers; standards call for four firefighters on each truck—two engine trucks and one ladder truck. With existing staffing, Sykora said there are three firefighters on each truck and a firefighter serving as battalion chief during each shift. He said the department calls in other cities to help meet compliance with enough personnel. The fire department faces a lot of unknowns, such as crew size, capability, what apparatus—or vehicle—is available, and the other city's response location.

Sykora said hiring more firefighters would mean not having to rely on other fire departments to fulfill calls and would ensure Tomball has the proper number of personnel on scene.

In addition, Sykora said the department needs more dispatchers as the fire and police departments only have two. The fire department presented a need for three more—one supervisor and two staff to work during peak hours.

For equipment, Sykora said the department needs two new engines and one new minipumper, allowing crews to get into smaller and off-road areas.


In addition, Station No. 4, which is in the design stage, will be located in southeast Tomball, an area that has seen a significant amount of growth, Sykora said. He said the department projects a 21% increase per 1,000 people in calls from the southeast region.

Assistant Fire Chief Jeff Cook said once the new station is in service, it will reduce the calls to the other three stations.

Station No. 4 is fully funded by Harris County Emergency Services District No. 15, which contracts with the city. Cook said the station is estimated to break ground in April 2022 and open in April 2023.

Sykora said in 2023, the department will add nine firefighters to Station No. 4, one dispatch supervisor and a new engine. In 2024, the fire department will add three firefighters to Station No. 1, which responds to the highest percentage of calls, and three firefighters to Station No. 5.

In 2025, the department anticipates adding three firefighters to Station No. 2, two dispatchers and a minipumper vehicle that includes medical response, according to the presentation. In 2026, the fire department will add three more firefighters to Station No. 4 and a new engine.
By Kayli Thompson

Reporter, Houston

Kayli joined Community Impact Newspaper in February 2022 covering the cities of Tomball and Magnolia. She graduated from Syracuse University's Newhouse School of Journalism in December 2015 with a dual Bachelor's degree in journalism and Political Science. She moved to Texas from New York where she reported for The Ithaca Voice, The Cortland Standard, Syracuse.com, The Stand, The Lansing Ledger, Dryden Courier and Groton Independent. She enjoys spending time with her daughter, reading, and finding any excuse to be near water.