The Yakima and Toppenish fire departments are teaming up to provide emergency services.

The Yakima City Council on Tuesday approved the agreement, which allows the departments to cooperatively provide emergency response within the other city’s jurisdictional boundaries.

Yakima Fire Chief Aaron Markham noted at Tuesday’s council meeting that cities in Yakima County have historically helped each other with emergency response services.

He added that the city of Toppenish has responded to fires in Yakima without hesitation several times, including a fire at a fruit packing plant a couple of years ago.

The council approved the agreement with a 5-0 vote. Council members Holly Cousens and Jason White were absent.

Toppenish City Manager Lance Hoyt said it’s been more difficult in recent years to attract qualified volunteer firefighters. He added the agreement will be particularly helpful in the event of a major fire.

“We’re very excited about this agreement,” Hoyt said. “It’s a service we need, and it’s a back up in case there are big fires.”

Reach Lex Talamo at or on Twitter: @LexTalamo.