West Valley Firefighters

Quarterly Newsletter

1st Quarter of 2012


About Us

About Us

Historical and Future Perspectives 

“The vision for the West Valley Fire Department is that it will continue to be a vital part of the social and economic structure of the community as it grows and matures into a structured and vibrant suburban community”


This page focuses on establishing a vision for the department over the next ten years. The historical development leading to the present situation will serve as a basis for projecting the future of the organization.

It is understood that in changing times it is difficult to predict just what challenges the department will face or how the community will change. However, to accommodate these changes, it is expected that this “vision for the future” may change from year-to-year as economic and political situations shift with impacts on funding and customer expectations.

Beliefs and Intents

It is believed that over the next ten years:

  • The Westerly boundaries of the District will not change significantly.
  • Annexations by the City of Yakima on the Eastern boundaries will be slower than expected and will not have significant impact on the administration of the District.
  • Service delivery needs within the urban growth boundaries in the District will continue to escalate because of population growth and commercial development.
  • Revenue will not increase at the same pace as needs for services to do tax payer concern and a limited economy.
  • Volunteer fire personnel will continue to be the central core of emergency response within the District.
  • Collaboration with adjoining fire departments to conserve resources can be productive and will result in reduced cost of service delivery
  • With careful planning and preparation, consolidation of fire districts will reduce redundant administrative costs and should result in improved services and/or reduced costs.

It is the intent in coming years to:

  • Organize and develop District emergency services to meet the increasing workloads anticipated as a result of population growth and commercial development.
  • Continue to develop, organize and support a primarily volunteer emergency response system within the District.
  • Initiate and encourage a cooperative spirit with the City of Yakima to assure smooth transition of annexed areas with respect to transfer of resources and coordinated service delivery.
  • Continue to initiate, lead when appropriate and cooperate in county-wide fire protection planning efforts.
  • Anticipate and project revenue needs and alternatives to attain the greatest degree of efficiency in use of resources.
  • Develop long-range plans that are flexible to changing times.
  • Involve the community in balancing available resources with desired services.

Fire and Life Safety in Yakima County

Twelve fire districts and fourteen cities provide fire and life safety services in Yakima County. However four of these cities contract with the fire district that surrounds their city as the most economical way to meet this responsibility. Each of the entities operates independently under policy direction from either a council in the case of cities or a commission in the case of districts.

While each fire entity operates independently, they also have many intergovernmental agreements to enhance their collective performance, including:

  • Mutual aid and assistance when an emergency overwhelms the resources of a single department.
  • Mutual response when agreements have been made to better utilize resources.
  • Cooperative training opportunities, such as the new firefighter recruit school.
  • Emergency dispatch through a central communication center.
  • Collective financial support for a firefighting support tanker, serving the entire County.

Fire districts generally provide emergency medical response services for basic life support and extrication in cooperation with private ambulance systems that transport and deliver advanced life support. In this integrated fashion, each department operates independently but has the support and depth of resources from the whole County in time of need.