On Jan. 13, the Tomball Fire Department and Harris County Emergency Services District No. 15 held an open house for its new fire station, Station No. 4, located at 10333 Mahaffey Road, Tomball.

“We are super excited that it’s open,” Tomball Fire Chief Joe Sykora said. “It has actually reduced the response times in this area of our territory by two minutes since it opened in October.”

How we got here

City and the ESD officials broke ground on the station in June 2022, Community Impact previously reported.

ESD 15 was formed over 15 years ago, and the first station it funded was Station No. 5 along Telge Road, which opened in 2016, according to prior reporting.

“While we were just finishing Station [No.] 5, I saw this area developing and started looking for land over here and found some,” said Randy Parr, Tomball council member and former Tomball fire chief. “[I] did a presentation to the [ESD 15] commissioners, and they agreed with it. ... We ended up getting the commissioners to go ahead and go along with purchasing the land here, and that was six years or seven years ago. ... After I retired, they started the planning phase of this.”

The specifics

Sykora said the new station, which cost $7.4 million—just under its $7.5 million budget—was built to house firefighters for the next 50 years. The station includes a decontamination area and a laundry room specifically built for firefighters’ gear.

“There’s a [decontamination] area that’s a separate shower from the regular showers that they’re able to, once they come back from a fire, they shower in there before they go inside the station,” Sykora said. “So the goal is to keep any carcinogens that we have on us outside of the station.”

The new station is fully staffed with nine firefighters, Sykora said. The department intends to expand the station’s staff capacity to 12 firefighters over the next three years.

“[The new station] covers from Willow Creek almost to the railroad tracks at Main Street in Tomball, goes as far north as the Montgomery County line, and as far south as Medical Complex and Hufsmith-Kohrville,” Sykora said.

Sykora said the new station has reduced response times in the area by two minutes since it opened, and it responds to around 25 calls a month.

“It’s much busier than we ever expected to be so far,” Sykora said.

What they’re saying

  • “This is going to save lives,” Tomball Mayor Lori Klein Quinn said. “How many lives can be saved by just saving five minutes when you get to a house? ... [The response time reduction is] big when you have a blazing inferno or someone trapped in a house. So we’re very very excited to [go from] the groundbreaking to this. It’s been very exciting to watch."
  • “Now all this stuff is made out of hydrocarbons, and you’ll have a room flash in five minutes. Once a room flashes, life is not tenable in that environment,” Parr said. “Everything gets to an ignition temperature [and it’s] lights off. So your opportunity to make a rescue in a fire incident is very limited. So response times are one of the most critical things that we deal with.”

Learn more

Learn more about the Tomball Fire Department and ESD 15 by visiting www.tomballtx.gov/168/fire-department and www.hcesd15.org.