Founding and Growth
Fort Bend County Emergency Services District No. 2 (FBCESD 2) was formed in 2002 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 daily by 4 firefighters working 24-hour shifts. Having stations staffed 24 hours a day, 365 days a year was a first in the greater Katy area. In 2006, the Department moved into its first permanent station located at 24655 Westheimer Parkway. This station was originally staffed with 5 part time firefighters per shift, 24 hours per day 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 our multi-story buildings. At this point, staffing was increased to 7 part time firefighters per shift.
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 Boulevard and in 2018 at 2700 Spring Green Boulevard. With the additional stations, equipment and staffing has increased as well. The Department now services our territory with 3 pumpers, a 100’ tower and a command vehicle. The current daily staffing level includes 1 Battalion Chief, 4 Captains, 4 Apparatus Operators and 7 firefighters working 24-hour shifts. The Department also has a 2500-gallon tanker and a 4-wheel drive, off-road, brush truck that are staffed when needed.
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 which threaten our District. Staff have 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 get our Cinco Ranch neighbors out of the water and 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 fire apparatus and supervise crews during both emergency and non-emergency activities. In 2021 we again increased our staffing levels with the addition of 9 full-time firefighters bringing our current staffing to 25 full-time and 60 part-time personnel providing 24- hour daily coverage. This staffing level allows us to operate our department with 17 people per day, 365 days each year.
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 round.
While we no longer have volunteer firefighters, they played a vital role in our success as we continued to grow. 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 also held classes in 2010 and 2012. Today, several of our tenured volunteers still serve their community in the capacity of Incident Command Technicians and ride with the on-duty Battalion Chief to assist in the mitigations of larger scale incidents. The Willowfork Fire Department is forever grateful to our past volunteers for the service they provided to our department and the community over a span of 18 years.
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 Stations 1 and 3. 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, neighboring districts such as the Katy Fire Department, Harris County Emergency Services District 48, Fort Bend County ESD #4 (Fulshear-Simonton 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 and emergency services possible.
We are committed to the preservation of the life and property of our community through a commitment to the rapid response by a highly trained, caring, and professional staff.
WHAT IS AN ESD?
An emergency services district (ESD) is a political subdivision of the State of Texas, similar to a School District, Library District or Hospital District. They are established pursuant to Chapter 775 of the Texas Health and Safety Code. An ESD generally supports or provides local emergency services, including emergency medical services and fire protection services.