Sounding the alarm. That's what fire officials are doing in the lower Yakima valley. Officials at Yakima County Fire District 5 say they're responsible for 800 square miles from White Swan to Grandview, the largest fire district in the state geographically.

THE PROBLEM IS THE LACK OF FUNDING AND EQUIPMENT

But there's a problem. In a letter sent to residents in the district officials say they're "struggling to provide adequate facilities, apparatus and staffing to respond to call volumes. There is also the regular threat of wildland fires in both populated and unpopulated areas. Preparing to fight those natural disasters is expensive, requiring specialized apparatus and equipment."

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THE CHIEF SAYS THEY HAVEN'T ASKED FOR A TAX INCREASE BUT.....

“Based on the amount of area we cover, we require more stations, apparatus and firefighters compared to other fire districts,” said Chief Ken Shipman. “We have prided ourselves on never asking for a tax increase. Now we require additional funding to continue providing emergency services residents require.”

A STRATEGIC PLAN IS IN PLACE FOR RENOVATION AND CAPITAL ITEMS

The chief says the Board of Fire Commissioners have developed a Strategic Plan to address capital and operation needs.
First he says the Strategic Plan calls for "renovating fire stations in Harrah (Station 3), Parker (Station 5), and Zillah (Station 10) and expanding the emergency dispatch center (Station 13). It also includes replacing some fire engines and wildland fire apparatus that has reached the end of its usable life."
There's a plan for capital items as well. The plan calls for renovating fire stations in Harrah (Station 3), Parker (Station 5), and Zillah (Station 10) and expanding the emergency dispatch center (Station 13). The plan also calls for replacing fire engines and wildland fire apparatus.

WILL YOU SUPPORT A FUTURE BOND ON THE BALLET?

The capital projects would require a bond that the fire district is considering placing in front of voters sometime in 2023.

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