44 Years Ago on December 14, 1975


On December 14, 1975 the very first ambulance which carried the name Cypress Creek EMS went into service.

(L to R) Richard Beasley, CCEMS President Cliff Woodward, Hank Turner

(L to R) Richard Beasley, CCEMS President Cliff Woodward, Hank Turner

CCEMS had been founded earlier that year and was chartered as a non-profit corporation by the state on July 25, 1975. Prior to the arrival of this ambulance, older Harris County Emergency Corps units were utilized. HCEC ran day to day operations for the first two years of Cypress Creek’s existence with CCEMS volunteers covering overnight shifts after getting home from their day jobs.

This was Jim Cravens first uniform

Jim Cravens first uniform

It was quite an adventure trying to identify all the people in these 40 year old pictures. Thanks to everyone who helped in that endeavor. Old newspaper articles were very useful, so I’m thankful to whoever saved all those and hope the reporters and editors from that paper were accurate with the names. In the Left to Right listings below the pictures people were were not able to identify are categorizes as unknown.

Richard Beasley, Unknown, Doris Boschma, Nancy Maxwell

Richard Beasley, Unknown, Doris Boschma, Nancy Maxwell

No Identification for any of these people

Hank Turner, Michael Maxwell, Nancy Maxwell

In this next picture, I was only able to positively identify Nancy Maxwell and John Turner. Mrs. Maxwell was the wife of founding member, Michael Maxwell. Michael and Nancy’s daughter, Laura, confirmed to us via email that both her parents are in the above picture. Thanks for your help in identifying them.

If anyone else has any information on the people not yet identified and their roles with CCEMS, let me know and I’ll update this post – Norm Uhl

(L to R) Nancy Maxwell, Unknown, Founding Member John Turner, Unknown

(L to R) Nancy Maxwell, Unknown, Founding Member John Turner, Chief L.O. “Whitey” Martin – City Of Houston EMS

CCEMS was founded by several residents of Cypresswood, who watched as one of their neighbors died of a heart attack waiting for an ambulance. They vowed it would never happen again. Today, Cypress Creek EMS is the Houston area’s recognized leader in pre-hospital severe heart attack care. To read more about the history of Cypress Creek EMS, click here.

Update: When this story first appeared in 2015, it prompted the following message from former Cypress Creek EMT Robert Knowles. Robert also sent along four pictures of early units that ran CCEMS calls. Those pictures are at the bottom of this post.

Just saw this article. What a flashback to my high school years. I grew up in the Westador subdivision back then and saw the private ambulance services, such as Belfort-Westpark, Gold Cross, others do what they could to provide some sort of EMS to the residents of this growing part of Harris County and knew then I wanted to be a part of it. I had the privilege of being in the first EMT class at North Harris County Community College back then and also was privileged to ride with multiple people in that first modular ambulance that CCEMSA bought including Richard Beasley, John Musik, John Riley, Charley Hooks, and others. I remember it was Unit 457. It was the beginning of a 40 year career in EMS which continues to this day. I can still recall a lot of calls we ran as if they had just happened today. I am so grateful for the experience and learning I received from all of them and it feels so good to see how far CCEMSA has come and the outstanding service it has become……………..Congratulations on 40 years of service to a community we all love!!!!!!!!!


Unit 453 HCEC unit that ran CCEMS calls

Unit 453

Unit 452 HCEC that rans CCEMS calls

Unit 452

Unit 456 first ambulance that Cypress Creek EMS

Unit 456

This next unit (457) appears to be the same one being christened in the black and white picture above. Who knew that the first color scheme was Blue and White.

Unit 457

Unit 457

Unit 457 at night

Unit 457

2 thoughts on “44 Years Ago on December 14, 1975

  1. My mother Shirley Berlin was part of the original group. I will be sharing this post with her. She now lives in Florida.

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