Klein Volunteer Fire Department

Reference: Louetta Road Emergency Vehicle Priority
Pilot Deployment Assessment

Dear Commissioner Cagle:

The Klein Volunteer Fire Department and HCESD 16 supports the expansion of the Emergency Vehicle Priority (EVP) System on county roads. Klein has recently finished a three-year evaluation along Louetta Road, in partnership with TranStar. Each of our Klein fire trucks has been equipped with transponders and has over the three year pilot program used them while responding to fire and medical emergencies within ESD 16. The system has cut travel time along Louetta by approximately 50%. Because traffic is allowed to flow through intersections ahead of the emergency vehicles, drivers can safely move to the side of the road and cross-traffic interruptions are minimized. During this same three-year period, the EVP Systems have been installed on TXDOT highways FM 2920, FM 1960, and service roads along SH 249 (70 plus intersections) with equally good results.

During the building boom of the last decade, the population of the area served by the Klein VFD has grown from 83,000 in 2002 to nearly 139,000, a 60% increase! This growth has been matched by an equally large increase in traffic along both the east-west and north-south corridors. A solution had to be found to increase emergency vehicle mobility and decrease response time in light of the escalating congestion.

 A system was developed and introduced to the Northwest Harris County Fire and EMS Department by TranStar that could provide a safe and secure passage of Emergency Responders through intersections during an emergency event. The EVP System provides secure passage through intersections by preforming priority request more efficiently, leading to less traffic signal disruption and quicker recovery of normal traffic flow following the event. This rapid return to optimal traffic flow was and continues to be a high priority for TranStar.

It is important for KVFD to be able to expand the benefits of the EVP System to other major roads in the ESD. Our department, with the support of the HCESD 16, has set aside funding over the last two years to install and operate systems on Kuykendahl, Spring Cypress, Stuebner Airline, Cypresswood and other major high traffic volume corridors in our district. The expansion can be accomplished with ESD funding rather than county tax revenues. We believe the EViEWS EVP System has met both the needs of the First Responders and TranStar. The Klein Fire Department, in conjunction with HCESD 16, is asking the Harris County Commissioners Court to approve the EViEWS EVP System final report and allow TranStar to authorize additional intersections installations of the EViEWS EVP System.

Harris County Precinct 4
Commissioner R. Jack Cagle
1001 Preston, Suite 950
Houston, TX 77002