Harris County Emergency Services Districts No. 3 and No. 21 are now the direct providers of service after ending their contracts with the Rosehill Fire Department on Nov. 1, said Nicole Pierce, who serves as counsel for both ESDs, in an interview Nov. 7.

Both ESDs will continue to split the services they provide, with ESD No. 3 providing emergency medical services and ESD No. 21 providing fire services.

“I think the big reason was just the growth in the area,” Pierce said. “There’s new neighborhoods being built on a yearly basis, and I think both [ESD] boards just thought that becoming the direct provider would be the best way to service the needs of the taxpayers and the employees who are going to provide the services.”

Put in perspective

In a letter shared on its Facebook page, the Rosehill Fire Department said it began in 1963, with the first fire truck actually being a converted delivery truck. The department covered around 100 square miles when it began, but after nearby fire departments expanded, the coverage area changed to 48 square miles.

In the late 1980s, ESD No. 21 was formed, and in the 1990s, ESD No. 3 was formed, according to the letter.

Now, the coverage area of the ESDs includes three stations, according to the ESD No. 3 district map.

"Unfortunately the proverb states, 'All good things must come to an end' also applies to successful organizations," the Rosehill Fire Department wrote in the letter. "The government officials that for years had supported our organization have decided to undertake the services themselves."

The details

The interim fire chief at ESD No. 21 is Christopher Reyes, and the assistant chief of EMS at ESD No. 3 is David Ferguson, Pierce said.

Around 57 people worked at Rosehill Fire Department before the service transition took place, Pierce said in a Nov. 8 email. Of those 57 employees:

  • 36 are now employed by ESD No. 21
  • 17 are now employed by ESD No. 3

What else?

Ira Coveler—a partner attorney at Coveler & Peeler P.C., the firm that represents both ESDs—said there will not be a decrease in the level of service being provided.

“It’s almost all of the same employees, it’s all of the same equipment, it’s currently the same station,” Coveler said. “So there won’t be any degradation in the service. As a matter of fact, it’s expected that over time, the training and the service will improve in the community.”

Pierce said ESD No. 21 does have plans for a few more future stations.