Yakima Fire Department to buy 2 new fire trucks

Trucks will help replace aging fire apparatus
Yakima Fire Department
Credit: Emily Goodell, KAPP-KVEW

YAKIMA, Wash. — The Yakima City Council has approved the purchase of two new pumper fire trucks to replace some of the city’s aging fire apparatus.

The council approved the plan July 20 to buy the trucks, which will cost about $745,000 each before taxes. Yakima Fire Chief Aaron Markham said they’re ordering the trucks through Cascade Fire and Safety, which is based in Yakima.

“The bonus of that is, of course, that the sales tax that is generated by purchasing from a local vendor comes back to the city,” Markham said.

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The Yakima Firefighters IAFF Local 469 posted about the need for new fire apparatus on Facebook, saying:

While we desperately need these Engines, as you can see by the photo, they should have been ordered years ago, as this will barely be a short term fix to the real problem. A long term replacement plan is desperately needed, not only with apparatus, but also with our basic Structural firefighting protective clothing that we need to do our jobs. With the build time of a new engine being upwards of 18 months, we will continue to struggle until they arrive, and until a sustainable, funded, permanent replacement schedule is made. (Our previous replacement plan that was voted on and adopted by city council, was never followed, and ultimately tossed aside by the next council) Our “reserve” apparatus (E-292, E-293, E-295) have been cycling through station 91 ever since Engine 91 went out of service. Engine 91 is currently being used as parts to keep Engine 95 running. The oldest engines we have, are running as frontline apparatus out of our busiest station, not to mention heading into our busiest fire season.

Markham said the department currently has eight pumper trucks: five they use for day to day operations and three that are reserved for backup in case others break down.

“The break downs can be as minor as a significant tear in a seatbelt,” Markham said. “It doesn’t sound like a big deal, but the seatbelt has to be replaced before it can really be put back on the road.”

Markham said while the department is running several years behind on the fire apparatus replacement plan, the two new fire trucks are a step in the right direction. He said the trucks should be ready in about 360 to 380 days.