Another ambulance team added to Yakima, crews say will reduce response time

Another ambulance team added to Yakima, crews say will reduce response time

YAKIMA, Wash.- Imagine a loved one, a friend or yourself driving, trying to get to your next destination when all of a sudden another car slams into you.

Within minutes your life can change, and when these situations do pop up, how fast you get help can determine your life.

As of Friday another emergency ambulance team has been added to Terrace Heights to help respond the the East Valley community faster instead of traveling from Union Gap.

Crews over at the East Valley fire district and the American Medical Response started the program.

“This is the first time that a paramedic unit has been in a fire station to be able to respond to the citizens in that area that they serve," said AMR Supervisor Scott Zachau.

The district will be fully staffed seven days a week with a paramedic along with volunteer firefighters when available. They will be working during the most high volume call times 12 hours a day from 10:30 p.m. to 10:30 a.m.

With this new addition to the team, Fire Chief Mark Emery from the East Valley Fire District says their response time will be even quicker than before.

"This is probably going to shave three to five minutes off of the response time by having them be here," said Emery.

Emery says they started this partnership because Terrance Heights is one of the main areas they respond to for emergencies.

"In 125 square miles in our fire district, we have three fire stations and this particular one, the response area makes up 50 percent of our calls."

Seventy percent of those calls are medical emergencies. Many locals living in the area say adding more emergency responders to the community makes them feel reassured.

"It feels good, I feel a lot safer. If you got an emergency you want someone to respond like right away."

Now three more emergency teams are added to the pool of responders for Terrace Heights and East Valley. Emery says this new program is in the trial stage, but will eventually be permanent if they see that the staff is needed.

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