West Richland ambulance service passes - NBC Right Now/KNDO/KNDU Tri-Cities, Yakima, WA |

West Richland ambulance service passes

Posted: Updated:

WEST RICHLAND, Wash. -- Voters are saying "yes" to ambulance service in West Richland. West Richland residents approved the levy to raise taxes to pay for ambulance service in Benton County Fire District #4.

Right now it is passing with 64% "yes" votes. 36% of voters said "no". The money will help pay for an expansion of the EMS building, ambulances, and medical equipment. EMS staff say it couldn't have happened without the help of the community. They say volunteers walked door to door educating people on the importance of the levy and how it will help cut down on response times.

"In an EMS situation seconds truly do matter and this is how we will be able to get there faster and the faster we are there to provide the service, the better the outcome for our citizens," said Fire Commissioner, A.J. Hill.

Dozens of volunteers from the 'Friends of Firefighters' donated their time.

"I want to thank everybody that put forth the effort and even those that couldn't get out and help. I know that there were there in spirit. I just want to thank everybody,' said Treena Russell, Chairwoman of the Friends of Firefighters.

West Richland will start receiving funds from the levy in January. It gets about $500,000 a year for the next 6 years.

The levy will add 50 cents per $1,000 of assessed value to be added to residents' property taxes.