Yakima City Council Votes on Issue Regarding Firefighter Paramedics - NBC Right Now/KNDO/KNDU Tri-Cities, Yakima, WA |

Yakima City Council Votes on Issue Regarding Firefighter Paramedics

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YAKIMA, Wash-- Lots of information and plenty of emotional testimony at Tuesday nights city council meeting.

At issue, whether the two Yakima firefighters also trained as paramedics be allowed to use their training on scene. And whether or not Chief Charlie Hines should be allowed to buy paramedic equipment with his existing EMS budget.   

City council did make a motion and a vote tonight. But, what that vote means for the future of the Yakima Fire Department is a little more difficult to peg.

"We made a case to where we wanted to enhance our partnership with the private ambulance company. AMR, the red and white company got it. They embraced it, the other ambulance didn't want to do it," said Hines.

"Our company doesn't really stand to lose anything, but what we see it as is duplication of service," said William Woodcock, president, Advanced Life Systems.

Tonight's council vote means that the firefighter paramedics can act on scene. But, they will only be able to do so if the ambulance company they are working with allows them to use their equipment.

Now, this is only the tip of the iceberg of tonight's discussion of a highly charged issue. This may not be the last time city council discusses the issue of firefighter paramedics.