2016 City News Releases

Posted on: February 17, 2016

Sugar Land Enhances Resources to Address Call Volume, Ensure Quality Service

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:

  • improve response times for advanced life support calls;
  • create a patient care reporting system that can be used by EMS personnel in the field to ensure local hospitals have access to information prior to the arrival of patients;
  • build on a network of assets that provide flexibility, speed and efficiency in fire and medical response; and
  • build an emergency medical dispatch capacity that will send appropriate personnel and equipment to medical calls.
The department’s average response time in 2015 was 5 minutes, 32 seconds. For EMS calls, the average response time for the first unit was 5 minutes, 19 seconds. Five state-of-the-art ambulances, increased paramedic certifications and expanded dispatch operations implemented in 2015 contributed to improved response times.

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:

  • EMS protocol were established.
  • RescueNet Link, an electronic patient care system and hospital interface was completed.
  • A full-scale active-shooter exercise with Fire, Police, Fort Bend County EMS and Sugar Land Methodist Hospital was developed and implemented.
  • The emergency operations center was activated to coordinate an inter-agency response to flooding from the Brazos River. This included measures to protect citizens and ensure effective communications with the public.
  • The department responded to 55 requests for free smoke alarms.

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Other News in 2016 City News Releases

Holiday Waste Collection, Tree Recycling

Posted on: December 13, 2016

Deadline Nears for Citizen Academies

Posted on: December 12, 2016

Police Searching for Female Bank Robber

Posted on: December 5, 2016

Police Searching for Hit-and-Run Driver

Posted on: October 13, 2016

City Manager Submits Proposed Budget

Posted on: July 21, 2016

Credit Card Thiefs Caught on Video

Posted on: June 15, 2016

Sugar Land Named Tree City USA

Posted on: May 6, 2016

Early Voting Begins April 25

Posted on: April 15, 2016

Sugar Land Receives Clean Audit

Posted on: February 22, 2016

Crime Rate in Sugar Land Hits Historic Low

Posted on: February 18, 2016

EGGStravaganza set for March 19

Posted on: February 17, 2016

Ethics Task Force Applications Accepted

Posted on: February 5, 2016

Sugar Land Receives A+ From Citizens

Posted on: January 22, 2016

Cultural Kite Festival Set for Feb. 27

Posted on: January 21, 2016