Cypress Creek Volunteer Fire Department

Firefighters with the Cypress Creek Volunteer Fire Department train in the department’s four-story training tower on Cypress North Houston Road. Firefighters with the Cypress Creek Volunteer Fire Department train in the department’s four-story training tower on Cypress North Houston Road.[/caption]

It was a bold move 40 years ago when the Cypress Creek Volunteer Fire Department decided to split from the Cy-Fair Volunteer Fire Department despite having no funds, fire station or equipment.


Concerned with rapid growth in the area and a growing lack of adequate fire protection, a group of community leaders decided to form the Cypress Creek VFD.


“Some people in the area felt like they weren’t getting enough service,” said Lt. Richard Ford, who has been with the department since 2003. “So some of the guys in the Cy-Fair department decided to split.”


After months of meetings and gaining financial support from local banks, the department was formally incorporated by the state of Texas on Oct. 12, 1976. With 45 firefighters and no station, the department scraped together enough money to purchase a truck and some secondhand equipment, Chief Richard Lieder said.


“Back then, fire trucks were parked outside of [volunteers’] houses and ladies ran the call center during the day,” he said.


The Cypress Creek Volunteer Fire Department services 35 square miles of land that was previously protected by the CFVFD. The split immediately created a rivalry between the two departments, Station No. 22 Capt. Kris Hughes said.


“It was a big to-do when Cypress Creek became [its] own department,” said Hughes, who has been a volunteer since 1998. “It started a turf war.”


When a call came in, both departments would try to beat each other to the fire, said Russell Ford,
a 30-year veteran.


“It was like whoever got there first would get the fire,” he said.


Cypress Creek firefighters held pancake breakfasts, malt sales and other events to help raise money to fund the department, Ford said.


Back then, department consisted of mostly volunteers and maybe one or two professional firefighters, Hughes said. In 1984, voters approved the creation of Harris County Rural Fire Prevention District, creating a stable tax-based income for the department.


“After that we immediately saw more money,” said Lieder, who joined CCVFD in 1992.


As the population in the area grew, the tax base for the fire department grew as well.  In 2001, voters approved a tax rate increase from 3 cents to 5 cents to fund an expansion of the department. Members of CCVFD say this tax increase has allowed the department to purchase top-of-the-line gear and pay for extensive training.


Now, department staff is a mix of career and volunteer firefighters. Volunteers dedicate over 2,200 hours each month to the department, including nights and weekends, Lieder said.


To become certified, volunteers train for five months using the department’s mock residential structure, four-story training tower, live burn simulator and 50-seat classroom.


“We train as hard as anyone and more than some paid departments,” Hughes said.


What started out as a rural fraternal fire department has grown into a professional urban department, Ford said.


“We have a lot of pride as a department,” he said. “These guys work so hard and they put their neck on the line every day and really deserve some recognition.”



MOST RECENT

 Redistricting is one of the items on the Texas Legislature's third special session, and the state Senate released proposed maps on Sept. 18. (Ali Linan/Community Impact Newspaper)
Texas Senate releases proposed redistricting maps as special session begins

Redistricting is one of the items on the third special session, and the state Senate released proposed maps on Sept. 18.

Cy-Fair ISD continues to see hundreds of COVID-19 cases confirmed weekly. (Courtesy Adobe Stock)
COVID-19 case confirmations down 14% week over week in Cy-Fair ISD

Nearly 3,000 cases have been confirmed on campuses since the start of the 2021-22 school year.

Cliff Woodward (center), co-founder of Cypress Creek Emergency Medical Services, hands the keys of CCEMS’ first ambulance to early CCEMS paramedic Richard Beasley (left) in 1975. (Courtesy Cypress Creek EMS)
Cypress Creek EMS, Harris County ESD 11 forge new paths after yearslong feud

On Sept. 1, the Harris County ESD 11 launched ESD 11 Mobile Healthcare to take over providing emergency services to over 600,000 residents across 177 square miles in its service area in north Harris County.

Texas Medical Center coronavirus updates: Daily average hospitalizations drop 15% week over week; ICU sees dip in number of patients

Coronavirus patients at TMC hospitals number 2,107, which in itself is an 11% week over week decline.

The sandwich chain offers hot subs, cold subs with fresh-cut deli meat, wraps and salads. (Courtesy Jersey Mike's Subs)
Jersey Mike’s Subs opening soon on Barker Cypress Road

The eatery offers a variety of cold and hot subs as well as wraps and salads.

At a Sept. 11 practice, Houston Girls Hockey Association teams took the ice to prepare for their first games the weekend of Sept. 17. (Courtesy Houston Girls Hockey Association)
New Houston-area all-girls hockey league set to play first games this weekend, Sept. 17-19

The league was created to give school-aged girls a chance to continue playing hockey through college, since young girls can often feel discouraged playing on co-ed teams, Director of Membership Valory Zeck said.

graphic
DATA: How population changed in Texas counties between census counts in 2010, 2020

Texas added nearly four million people between 2010 and 2020, according to the latest Census data.

Texas-wide public charter school system Harmony Public Schools will offer a full virtual learning option for eligible students. (Courtesy Harmony Public Schools)
Harmony Public Schools will offer virtual learning for K-12 students in Houston, Katy, Sugar Land, Cypress

Schools under the Harmony Public Schools umbrella may offer up to 10% of its student body a full virtual learning option.

The Barn at Frio Grill has food, drinks and live music. (Courtesy The Barn at Frio Grill)
15 live music venues to visit in Cy-Fair

With a growing live-music scene in their own backyard, Cy-Fair residents do not need to travel far to see talented artists perform.

Construction has begun on Elementary School No. 57. (Courtesy Cy-Fair ISD)
5 Cy-Fair developments to follow this fall

Construction is underway on these five local projects.

Q&A: Get to know Bobby Warren, Jersey Village’s newest mayor

Bobby Warren was elected mayor of Jersey Village in May. Check out our Q&A to see what he's been up to and what his priorities are moving forward.