Founding and growth
Fort Bend County Emergency Services District No. 2 (FBCESD 2) was formed in 2003 after dedicated community members saw the need for a fire department to serve the quickly growing Cinco Ranch communities and surrounding areas of Fort Bend County. Voters overwhelmingly approved the formation of the District in a 2002 election. We are proud to have been initially evaluated by the Insurance Services Office with an ISO rating of 2, which we have since maintained. ISO ratings, which are used by the insurance industry to set fire insurance premium rates, vary from 1 to 10, with 1 being the highest-level rating available.
Willowfork Fire Department was founded under the oversight of FBCESD 2 and began providing service on January 1, 2003. The Department was named after the Willow Fork Branch of Buffalo Bayou that runs through the middle of the District. Fire services were initially located in a temporary station on Mason Road which housed two pumpers staffed by four firefighters. In 2006, the Department moved into its first permanent station located at 24655 Westheimer Parkway. This station was originally staffed with five firefighters and operated with one pumper and a first responder vehicle. In 2010, the Department purchased a 100’ aerial tower vehicle to enhance our capability to provide fire and rescue services to multi story buildings in the District. At this point, staffing was increased to seven people.
As our District’s population continued to grow and more development occurred on the west side of the District, additional stations were added in 2013 (Station 2 at 26950 Cinco Ranch Blvd.) and again in 2018 at (Station 3 at 2700 Spring Green Boulevard). With the additional number of stations, equipment and staffing has increased as well. The Department now services our territory with three pumpers, a 100’ tower and a Command Vehicle. Also, in our fleet of response vehicles is a reserve pumper, a 2000-gallon tanker and a booster truck which is used for brush and/or grass fires. The current daily staffing level includes a Battalion Chief, four Captains and eight firefighters working 24-hour shifts.
After the flooding brought about by Hurricane Harvey in 2017, Willowfork Fire Department added a 14-foot inflatable rescue boat and a 12-foot flat-bottom boat to ensure we are ready to serve during natural disasters that threaten our District. Staff has been sent to swift-water rescue and boat operations training to ensure they have the knowledge and skills to rescue residents threatened by floodwaters. Each boat is fully outfitted with the equipment needed to safely remove our neighbors from the water and get them to safety.
From 2003 through mid-2016, the Department was staffed by part-time personnel who provided excellent and dedicated coverage to the District with experienced and knowledgeable firefighters from surrounding departments. In 2016, the Department hired our first full time employees to fill the positions of Battalion Chief. Three highly qualified people were assigned, one to each of three shifts, to provide supervision to daily activities as well as to command emergency operations.
In 2018, we hired 12 exceptionally talented firefighters to fill the positions of Captain. Four are assigned to each of the three shifts to ride in charge of the fire apparatus and supervise crews during both emergency and non-emergency activities. This brings our current operations staff to 15 full time and 57 part time personnel providing 24-hour daily coverage.
Each of our full-time firefighters works a rotating 48-hour on duty shift, followed by 96 hours off duty. Part-time firefighters average 24 to 48 hours per week in order to provide the District with 24-hours-a-day, 7-days-a-week fire protection and first responder services year-around.
To supplement our paid crews, we held our first in-house Willowfork Volunteer Firefighter Cadet Academy in 2009, graduating eight volunteer firefighters from the program. Since then, we have held classes in 2010 and 2012. Today we have a total of 12 volunteer firefighters on our team.
While our firefighters are all certified Emergency Medical Technicians and Paramedics trained for medical emergencies, Willowfork does not provide ambulance transportation services. From the beginning, a Fort Bend County Emergency Medical Services Medic Unit has been co-housed in Willowfork Fire Department. Having fully certified Emergency Medical Technicians and Paramedics housed with our teams allows our staff to provide the highest quality of emergency care and response to District residents.
Fort Bend County EMS’ Medic 9 has been with us from the beginning and moved with us from our temporary station on Mason Road to Station 1 in 2006. Additional EMS staffing and equipment has been provided by Fort Bend County EMS since that time. In 2016, the Department had grown to a point that an EMS Battalion Chief was permanently assigned to Station 2. In 2018, with the opening of Station 3 another Medic Unit, Medic 15, was added and housed in Station 3.
Through our partnerships with Fort Bend County EMS, and neighboring districts such as the Katy Fire Department, Harris County Emergency Services District 48, Fort Bend County ESD #4 (Fulshear Fire Department), and Community Fire Department, among others, we are proud to provide top-quality emergency services to the Katy area. As the District continues to grow and evolve, we are committed to providing the best fire protection services possible.