As we celebrate the beginning of 2016, we want to take a moment to appreciate the eventful year that was 2015. Last year saw a lot of change with the transition of the Fire and EMS services from the former provider (West I-10) to Harris County ESD 48 Fire Department on August 17th. We were blessed to have the majority (almost 95%) of the men and women, who have served our portion of the Katy area for so long (Our Story), choose to continue their long tradition of service under our new model and new name. Making this transition a success was due to a lot of long days and even longer nights and effort from our ESD Commissioners, Chiefs, Officers, Fire Fighters, Paramedics and our newest volunteers. In addition to all the internal efforts, it would not have been possible without the tremendous help of some amazing partners both locally (Westlake VFD, Cy-Fair VFD, Fulshear/Simonton VFD, Katy FD, Willowfork FD) and a few half way across Houston (Klein VFD, Champions FD, Atascocita VFD, Spring VFD).
As we began to hit our stride in September, we were really excited to launch our Community Team with the goal of reaching out to the residents of ESD 48 with new and engaging opportunities to interact and learn about fire safety. One of our first steps was to build a Facebook page (October 3rd) that would become not just a one-way news page but an interactive avenue to connect with our neighbors like never before. We hoped to have 300 ‘likes’ by years end but we have been blown away by the public’s response that has carried all they way to 761 on December 31st.
As we continue to expand our online presence, we have added some traditional platforms like our esd48fire.org website and Twitter accounts but we have also stepped out into some new ground with Google+, a YouTube channel, Instagram and even a LinkedIn Page. All of this could not have been accomplished without the creativity and hard work of our Community Team. In November, with the addition of our first paid Public Information Officer and the creation of a new role of Public Education Coordinator, this team will continue to pioneer new ways to positively impact our community through onsite, offsite and now even online education initiatives.
As 2016 begins, Harris County ESD 48 Fire Department will continue to find proactive ways to engage with our residents as we advance our vision of becoming a ‘Fire Department of the Future’. Stay tuned for some exciting new programs that we will be rolling over the next few weeks and months. If you have any ideas, suggestions or opportunities that you think we should consider, please reach out to us on one of our platforms below and help us make 2016 a year to remember.