Fire agencies set to end automatic response agreement - NBC Right Now/KNDO/KNDU Tri-Cities, Yakima, WA |

Fire agencies set to end automatic response agreement

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YAKIMA, Wash. – The Yakima Fire Department and Fire District 12 in West Valley are set to end a five-year agreement later this week for fire response.

Under the current terms, YFD responds to the incidents between Cowiche Canyon and Scenic Dr. in the county, while Dist. 12 responds West of 72nd Ave. in Yakima. Starting next month, both agencies will stay within their jurisdictions.

The city wanted around $60,000 to automatically respond to the Cowiche area while Dist. 12 hoped to pick up another portion of the city as a trade.

"Based on five years or five plus years of working with them," Deputy Chief Nathan Craig of Dist. 12 explained. "[We're] trying to do what we think is better government, the closest rig goes, the best resource for the call goes."

The two agencies differ on what would be an even exchange of services.

"It kind of comes down to the response times," said Deputy Fire Marshall Ron Melcher with the Yakima Fire Dept. "We're able to make it to those areas faster so it really didn't make a benefit for the citizens of Yakima, there was just no benefit there."

Once the agreement ends, new response times will be calculated and both Yakima Fire and Fire Dist. 12 will meet again in 90 days.