YAKIMA, WA- The Yakima Fire Fighters Association is asking for an apparatus plan that was approved in 2015 to be put in effect.
In that plan each fire engine would have a 12-year lifetime service. However because of funding the plan has not moved forward.
The City Of Yakima Spokesperson said “the idea is if there is an inventory of the things we believe we'll need and if we have the money available we will go ahead and do that. But in the case of the apparatus like many other pieces of equipment in the city we simply haven't had the resources to replace them up to this point, but the plan remains to do that over time.”
Due to the aging apparatus firefighters have run into mechanical issues during the most pressing times.
The Vice President of the Yakima Firefighters Association, Ryan Croffut said “We were dispatched to a call when we discovered it. We had to call out of service another closest unit responding to fill the call of service, we were dispatched to. And then another station had a reserve and brought it back to us. So we had to swap all our equipment over and we were back in service.>
He added that these issues affect more than just one crew.
“If you look at the compounding factors there, just the one vehicle impacts three different crews,” said Croffut.
When it comes to the city budget it is divided into two different funds. One funded by taxpayers and another by fees.
Beehler said “Out of that general fund about 78 million dollars roughly 70% goes to public safety Police. Fire, Courts, Jail.”
The allocation within the general fund firefighters is about 20%.
Every year the budget is discussed around November then approved in December.
The Yakima Firefighters Association is asking for community support.
“If this situation that we are presenting is concerning then contact your local council member and let them know that this is a priority,” said Croffut.
Since 2015 Yakima Fire Department has received a new truck and engine.
However, the funds came from a separate initiative.
If you would like to reach your city council member click here.