YAKIMA, Wash. — A federal grant will add three full-time firefighters to the West Valley Fire Department.
The department says the Federal Emergency Management Agency has awarded $380,000 to cover the costs of the positions for two years, with no matching funds required.
They are scheduled to start March 1.
The department already has a two-person day crew, but the extra personnel will increase that regular staffing to four firefighters. The larger crew can attack a fire on its own and conduct other operations that require two firefighters to start work while two others stand by, such as search and rescue incidents, Deputy Chief Nathan Craig said in a news release.
The new day crew will be made up of two volunteer firefighters and two paid firefighters. The paid firefighters will rotate shifts.
West Valley has received two other FEMA grants totaling about $587,000 this year for new breathing apparatus and related equipment and for one full-time firefighter, who is responsible for recruitment, retention and teaching a high school firefighting skills class.
The department has five administrative positions, a part-time secretary and 80 volunteers.