Every day the Harris County Emergency Corps (“HCEC”) commits to providing the highest quality pre-hospital care available to its citizens. The same was true in 1927 when a group of concerned citizens realized the need to establish a first aid organization in Harris County, Texas — the Harris County Emergency Corps. On February 3, 1933 HCEC was formally chartered with the Texas Secretary of State as the first First Responder Organization in Texas. Initially, HCEC provided first aid to the citizens of Houston. However, the need for expansion was soon realized and they began responding to surrounding counties. Responses to incidents such as the New London School Explosion (1937) and the Texas City disaster (1947) earned HCEC the reputation for being a reliable EMS neighbor in the face of tragedy.
During the late 1960s HCEC expanded its fleet and operated four units throughout Houston and Harris County. Their headquarters were located on North Main Street in Houston where they stayed until 1971. It was when the City of Houston organized its own EMS operation that HCEC relocated its headquarters to the unincorporated area of North Harris County where it remains today. In 1991, citizens in the area voted to form Harris County Emergency Services District 1 (“HCESD1”). HCESD1 was created to ensure adequate funding was available for EMS within the proposed service area. The Board of Commissioners for HCESD1 voted to have Harris County Emergency Corps provide the services for its district. HCESD1 discontinued service with HCEC in 1997 and assumed operations internally in 1998.
Lack of revenues caused the Harris County Emergency Corps to shut its doors. After running the service directly for a number of years, the Commissioners and management of HCESD1 believed having a private sector provider of services would create better efficiencies and service for the district. However, the Commissioners wanted to keep as much of the current operational structure in place as possible. As a result, in 2010, the Board of Commissioners voted to create a private, non-profit corporation to perform the service. In honor of its many years of service, the Commissioners named the non-profit corporation Harris County Emergency Corps.
On June 1, 2011 at 0600 hours the venture was realized when HCEC resumed operations. HCEC currently 15 staffs full time mobile intensive care units (MICU), a full time professional communications center, event medicine services, a community health paramedic program, and outreach education programs. We are truly one of a kind.
The new HCEC is proud to continue the tradition and mission envisioned by its founding members and will create new standards for generations to come.