Yakima Fire Reserves Step Up To The Plate Alongside Firefighters - NBC Right Now/KNDO/KNDU Tri-Cities, Yakima, WA |

Yakima Fire Reserves Step Up To The Plate Alongside Firefighters

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Every time there is a major fire in Yakima, many firefighters are on the scene, but they are not the only ones who show up. Every time there is a major fire in Yakima, many firefighters are on the scene, but they are not the only ones who show up.

YAKIMA, WA - Every time there is a major fire in Yakima, many firefighters are on the scene, but they are not the only ones who show up. 

The Yakima Fire Reserve Volunteers step up to the plate to protect the men and women who risk it all for our safety.

"I don't think of myself as a hero, I just...I enjoy helping people," said YFD Reserve Volunteer Eferon Betancourt.

"We're very grateful and very relieved to see them come on those things, and often the supplies they bring are necessary at the time," said Lieutenant Ed Moore.

Established in 199, volunteers with the reserves provide essential core support to the department when it comes to battling major fires.

"They're in charge of the air support program to fill our bottles we use during house fires or hazardous material incidents.  They also bring the rehab bus which gives us food, shelter during inclement weather, coffee, hot chocolate to the people that are on scene," Lt. Moore said.

The city's budget only allows for 20 on-duty firefighters for Yakima.  And with the lean staff and the high number of fires in our area, the reserves are always on-call to augment the work firefighters need to do when there's a potentially devastating fire.

"For me it's like a no brainer.  I love the fire department, I've always had a love for the fire department, and it's just my way to help," said YFD Reserve Volunteer Cody Tusler.

"It's my desire to help the crew, help families whenever I can in any situation," Betancourt said.

The most recent help came during the fire, which severely damaged Abbott's printing here on Second Avenue.  Firefighters NBC Right Now spoke with told us without the reserves refilling their supplies, keeping them warm in the cold weather, and providing them with food and water, things could have been a lot worse.

"They are very, very valuable to us in that respect having the added people on scene to take care of those tasks is a great relief to both the command and the entire scene as well.  They provided basically everything they could provide," Lt. Moore said.

"I actually want to become a firefighter so I heard you need to volunteer with your department if you can," Betancourt said.

"I wanted to do it to support the men and women out there risking their lives for our safety. I was a volunteer fireman and to have a program like this in place would have been great," Tusler said.

The reserves in Yakima also work together with similar programs with the West Valley, Selah and East Valley fire departments.

The Yakima Fire Department is always looking for new members with the reserves.

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