Harris County Emergency Services District #29 (Champions ESD) vehemently supports the expansion of the EViEWS Safety Emergency Vehicle Priority (EVP) System on county roads. Such an expansion can be accomplished with ESD funding and will not require county tax revenues.
This system has been developed in conjunction with Houston TranStar and several northwest Harris County emergency service providers. After a successful three-year evaluation program along the Louetta Road corridor, this innovative system has been expanded to over 70 state Intersections along Cypress Creek Parkway, FM 2920, and Tomball Parkway.
This unique system stands out among other preemption solutions because of its ability to track and project emergency vehicle travel paths, allowing the system to clear traffic in advance of approaching emergency vehicles, as well as efficiently returning traffic back to normal flow following safe passage of the emergency vehicle. As efficient and timely emergency vehicle response has been a significant priority for participating emergency service organizations, so too for TranStar has been the rapid return to normal traffic flow. We believe the EViEWS EVP system has met both the needs of the emergency service organizations as well as TranStar.
This system successfully allows for increased mobility and decreased response times for responding emergency vehicles, despite the ever-increasing levels of congestion in our area. It is mission-critical for HCESD 29 to be able to expand the benefits of the EVP system to other major roads within our and surrounding districts, as a seamless network of EVP intersections will allow for more efficient response time for our personnel and equipment as well as enhance interoperability for our automatic aid partners. There has always been a balance sought between the need to arrive to an emergency incident quickly and the risk that the public and firefighters are subjected to in doing so.
Harris County ESD #29 is respectfully requesting the Commissioners Court to approve the EVP System final report and allow TranStar to authorize the installation of additional intersections into the EVP System.
Harris County ESD ff29
Dear Commissioner Cagle:
‘When Seconds Count…Count on Us’ has been the mantra of Cypress Creek Emergency Medical Services for over 35 years. The residents in the 250 square miles of northern Harris County expect expeditious and professional emergency care which Cypress Creek EMS is known for. As the population continues to grow in the northern Harris County area, new challenges arise which can hamper 911 emergency responses.
One daily challenge is the safe rapid response in the ever increasing vehicle congestion along our roads and highways. Cypress Creek EMS supports the expansion of the EViEWS Emergency Vehicle Priority (EVP) System in Harris County. Cypress Creek EMS has worked with Harris County TranStar and other local fire departments on a multi-year evaluation of the EViEWS EVP System along the Louetta Road corridor. Travel time of our ambulances along this corridor has been significantly reduced recovering lifesaving seconds. The program has proven so successful we were able to expand the project to Texas Department of Transportation roadways along FM1960, FM 2920, and SH 249.
Faster response is not the only benefit of the EViEWS EVP System. Reduction of accidents involving emergency vehicles at intersections as well as the rapid recovery of normal traffic patterns are sought benefits of the fire/EMS communities as well as Harris County TranStar. We therefore are asking the Harris County Commissioners Court to approve the EViEWS EVP System final report and allow further expansion of this system along Harris County roadways.
Bradley J. England
Cypress Creek EMS
Dear Commissioner Cagle:
This letter is written on behalf of Harris County Emergency Services District No. 11 (“Harris County ESD 11”).
As you may know, Harris County ESD 11 provides EMS to an area consisting of 250 square miles in the northwest/Spring area of Harris County. Harris County ESD 11 provides this EMS service through its service agreement with Cypress Creek EMS. (This service area overlaps the areas served by Ponderosa VFD, Spring VFD, Cypress Creek VFD, Champions FD, and Klein VFD, among others, who are first responders with Cypress Creek EMS.) To be sure our residents expect expeditious and professional emergency care which is what Harris County ESD 11, Cypress Creek EMS, and our fire departments are known for. However, as the population continues to grow our service area, new challenges arise which can hamper 911 emergency responses.
One daily challenge is the safe and rapid response in the ever increasing vehicle congestion along our roads and highways. Harris County ESD 11 supports the expansion of the EViEWS Emergency Vehicle Priority (EVP) System in Harris County. Harris County ESD 11 has worked with Harris County TranStar, Cypress Creek EMS, and our local fire departments on a multi-year evaluation of the EViEWS EVP System along the Louettta Road corridor. Travel time of the ambulances along this corridor has been significantly reduced following the implementation of the EViEWS EVP system, cutting lifesaving seconds. The program has proven so successful Harris County ESD 11 and our local fire departments were able to expand the project to TEXDOT/State roadways along FM 1960, FM 2920, and SH 249.
Faster response is not the only benefit of the EViEWS EVP System. Reduction of accidents involving emergency vehicles at Intersections as well as the rapid recovery of normal traffic patterns are highly sought benefits of the fire/EMS community as well as Harris County TranStar. Harris County ESD 11 therefore requests the Harris County Commissioner’s Court to approve the EViEWS EVP System final report and allow further expansion of this system along Harris County roadways. Harris County ESD 11 is ready to continue its part of the funding of this project along with the area fire ESDs under an Interlocal Agreement similar to the current program that has worked so well.
HARRIS COUNTY EMERGENCY SERVICES DISTRICT NO. 11
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.
Klein Volunteer Fire Department
On Wednesday, September 11, 2002, at 2312 hours, Monrovia Police officers became involved in the pursuit of a stolen vehicle at Mayflower and Foothill. The driver accelerated rapidly and continued to run stop signs and signaled intersections. At times the suspect vehicle reached speeds of 100 miles per hour and the pursuit covered 3.6 miles.
Eventually, the vehicle collided with two other vehicles at Myrtle and Pomona. One of the suspected tossed a firearm outside the vehicle. Three suspects were arrested after additional handguns, a shotgun, and ammunition were found in the stolen vehicle. All three suspects were hospitalized from injuries sustained in the crash. No innocent persons were hurt.
The EViEWS Emergency System worked extremely well as the pursuit made its way along Huntington Drive. Agent Steve Koshmerl stated, “It was a great feeling to see green lights all the way down Huntington and the EViEWS boards lighted up.”
Roger W. Johnson
Chief of Police
The Ponderosa Fire Department (ESD 28) is a partner with other agencies currently evaluating the EViEWS Emergency Vehicle Preemption (EVP) system along the Louetta cooridor and other locations. The origional test intersections were on Louetta at Ella, Sorrel Ridge, Kuykendahl and Klein Church. We believe the EViEWS’ EVP system has preformed outstanding and meets or exceeds all goals established at the onset of this project. We highly recommend expanding the system further within ESD 11’s district and other ESD’s via specific interlocal agreements if they choose to do so.
This agency’s important corridor is FM1960 West (Cypress Creek Parkway) from FM 249 to IH45. Over 65,000 vehicles per day pass through and it is a continual challenge for TXDOT to apply improved mobility. Some time ago there was a study to install medians along this corridor with the hope to reduce crashes and improve mobility. Those of us in the fire and EMS services were extreemly concerned for our citizen’s safety due to delays during the approximate fifty responses a day.
The medians project needed assistance to prevent delay. Senator Dan Patrick was concerned and asked TXDOT to plan with our agencies. A cost sharing approach was begun between TXDOT, HGAC and fire and EMS agencies to not only install EVP but to replace outdated signal controllers and provide TXDOT specific software for improved mobility – we needed all the help we could get!
This project was completed in early September and once again all goals were met or exceeded. We still have some challenged during late day rush hour(s) but we have learned to naviaget certain intersections with reduced delay. The bottom line is that we are providing better service to our citizens.
There is no doubt that our agencies and Harris County took some risks “going where no EVP system has gone before”……but success goes by those who try.
Fred C. Windisch
Fire Chief FFO CFO