Building an EMS system from the ground up

Doug Hooten on how ESD 11 is tackling recruitment, station construction and fleet purchasing


If someone called you in and presented you with the challenge of creating your own ambulance service and building it from the bottom up – to be up, running, staffed and equipped within 365 days, would you know to begin? 

In this edition of EMS One-Stop podcast, our host, Rob Lawrence, interviews Doug Hooten, CEO of the brand-new Harris County Texas, ESD 11 EMS Agency, who was presented with just this challenge.    

When most RFPs for ambulance service delivery are awarded, the winning entity is usually a formed corporate body with staff employed to create a service to put in place using existing principles, practices, and processes.  For Doug Hooten, he was the only man in the room with a blank piece of paper and the assurance of sufficient investment to complete the task. Harris County Commissioners have budgeted $29 million to put 28 ambulances on the street, thus creating a county operated EMS agency to replace the contracted incumbent, Cypress Creek Emergency Medical Services, whose contract expires in September, 2021.

Rob and Doug discuss the challenges of creating a service from the ground up, including real estate purchase and construction, the challenges of recruiting, and fleet purchasing.


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