The Yakima County Department of Emergency Medical Services and your local fire departments fund emergency medical services through a countywide EMS levy. Yakima County has had a countywide EMS levy since 1991 when it was first voted on and approved by Yakima’s voters. Since that time two renewals of the levy have been passed, one in 1996 and the second in 2002. The current levy is due to expire on December 31, 2013.
By law (RCW 84.52.069), EMS levy funds can only be used to provide emergency medical care or emergency medical services. In Yakima County, 88.5% of the EMS levy is distributed among 21 fire departments to provide a revenue source for items such as apparatus, rescue units, medical and trauma supplies, rescue gear and tools, volunteer and full-time staffing, facilities and more. The other 11.5% is received by the Yakima County Department of EMS (EMS Office) which provides the annual training, required by all EMS providers, certification and recertification assistance, Medical Program Director, Quality Assurance & Improvement and administrative oversight.
In order to provide a fair and equitable distribution of funds to the varying fire departments throughout Yakima County a distribution formula was established. The formula consists of three parts; Assessed Value, Population, and EMS runs (aid calls). The spreadsheet linked below shows the estimated distribution of funds for the 2012 tax year.
The Yakima County Department of Emergency Medical Services or “EMS Office” offers initial, ongoing and certification services to aspiring EMS providers, and experienced EMS providers. The EMS office works in conjunction with a local Medical Program Director to provide prehospital patient care protocols, guidelines, operating procedures, and quality assurance to the community. To learn more about the initial training programs offered through the EMS office read below.
The Yakima County Department of Emergency Medical Services (EMS Office) offers two courses a year. To apply for the course, please do the following:
Submit an EMT application to the EMS office with a copy of your driver's license and high school diploma or GED.
If you have questions or would like to order a copy of the upcoming course schedule, contact Diane Koch, EMS Secretary at (509) 966-5175.
Most EMTs will volunteer in their community at the local fire department. Yet others will become employed by a local ambulance company or fire department. However, EMTs have been known to find work at emergency departments, general clinics, specialty clinics such as a burn center or heart center, FEMA, contracted by private industry and military establishments. EMT-IV Technicians have found employment at places such as the American Red Cross or hospital laboratory utilizing their phlebotomy skills.
The Yakima County Department of EMS is happy to assist in providing information to local EMS employers, however this department has no influence over the hiring practices of any entity other than this office itself.
For information and whether an agency is hiring please see our Agency Directory and contact those individual resources.