Report: Yakima Fire Department needs more training

Report: Yakima Fire Department needs more training

YAKIMA, Wash. -- Last month Action News told you the Yakima Fire Department scored a four on a scale of one to ten. With one being the best score. Now KIMA has learned the department got low scores for staffing and training.

When there's a fire you want to know firefighters will be there to protect you.

"It just went poof and I was like, 'oh my god, I better go get the kids,' so I took them inside," aid neighbor Nicolasa Ozuna.

The smoke has cleared, but just a few months ago this backyard was up in flames after a car sparked a fire.

"I barely saw the smoke and already heard the sirens coming so they acted really quick," Ozuna said.

Ozuna said she's impressed with Yakima's Fire Department.

But the latest report by the Washington Surveying and Rating Bureau says there is room for improvement.

The department received high scores in water supply thanks to the city adding more lines. But they received low marks in staffing and training. Both are budget issues which the city says it tight.

"We run a lean operation and the times we live in fiscally, we can't live up to the quote unquote standards of training we are compared to large cities in the state being number 8 ourselves," said Yakima mayor Micah Cawley.

Yakima's rating might not be perfect, but this mom is perfectly content with our firefighters and their service.

Even with all the changes Yakima remains at a service level four and it will for the next five years until it's rated again.

Yakima City Council is now weighing whether to add two fire inspectors to the department in the next budget. They would cost $175,000 a year. That would not impact Yakima's fire service rating.