Sugar Land, TX - The Sugar Land Fire-EMS Department responded to 8,118 calls for service during 2015, an increase of almost 800 over 2014. Emergency Medical Service (EMS) represented more than 64 percent of SLFD’s call volume, while structure fires were about .4 percent. Firefighters responded to 36 structure fires in 2015.
The results were included in the Sugar Land Fire Department’s 2015 Annual Report.
A focus on strong code enforcement, public education and relatively new infrastructure contributes toward a low number of structure fires in Sugar Land.
Ambulance service was launched last year after years of rapid growth in Sugar Land necessitated a change in EMS delivery. Prior to last year, City leaders -- including Sugar Land’s medical director -- identified a need to:
Just under 30 percent of EMS calls were handled without fire trucks, an operational savings that also increased the availability of trucks for fire-related calls.
Data showed that more than 94 percent of patients transported by SLFD were sent to Houston Methodist Sugar Land Hospital, St. Luke’s Sugar Land Hospital and Memorial Hermann Sugar Land Hospital.
The planned implementation in August of controlled substances on Sugar Land ambulances was completed on schedule. Prior to launching ambulance transport service, SLFD worked closely with the Drug Enforcement Agency, Texas Department of State Health Services and Texas Department of Public Safety to ensure proper procedures were followed to obtain necessary licenses and approvals to carry certain medications. Per direction from these agencies, this required setting up an operational ambulance transport system to ensure safety protocols were in place.
Work continues to receive approval from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) to bill patients covered under the federal programs. A current moratorium on the issuance of billing numbers has so far prevented Sugar Land’s ability to bill for Medicare and Medicaid.
U.S. Rep. Pete Olson, R-Sugar Land, and U.S. Sen. John Cornyn, R-Texas, are assisting SLFD through the federal appropriations process. At the same time, senior CMS officials are working with Sugar Land to provide a pathway for an exemption.
Other accomplishments during 2015 included the following: