Fire response times in Yakima County

YAKIMA COUNTY, Wash. -- It's a race against time whenever a fire starts putting you and your family at risk.

Different uniforms but the same goal. Firefighters across Yakima County always have your safety in mind.

"They responded quickly and they did a good job," said Jordan Miller.

Several fires have started in Jordan Miller's neighborhood on South Naches Avenue recently. He said the Yakima Fire Department responded pretty quickly.

"This is a big city so they have to get everybody at the same time and it's hard to control the whole town," said Jordan.

KIMA dug up the numbers to see which fire departments had the fastest response times so far this year.

Sunnyside and Union Gap were under five minutes. Yakima had an average of five and a half minutes. East Valley came in at more than seven minutes. West Valley, Selah, and Yakima County Fire District 5 came in longer.

But the numbers are hard to compare. Some departments cover larger areas. For example, Yakima County Fire District 5 covers all the unincorporated areas of the Lower Valley.

"We have calls where we get there in two or three minutes and we have calls where we get there within 10 minutes and we have other calls where it takes 20 minutes because of the distance, the time of the year," said Yakima County Fire District 5 Deputy Chief Kevin Frazier.

The East Valley Fire Department told KIMA they're planning on hiring three new firefighters next year. Their goal is to have three firefighters per engine. Right now they only have two per engine.

They're hoping more manpower will help with the efficiency of response times. Yakima County fire stations said there is always a need for more volunteer firefighters.