About Us
Mission Statement

To reduce premature death and disability from sudden illness and injury among the visitors and citizens of Yakima County, by the development, coordination, and assurance of quality prehospital patient care and system operations; through training of EMS personnel, continuous quality improvement, EMS system development, public education and injury prevention, data collection and research, and system administration.

 

Vision Statement

To move into the future utilizing modern tools & teaching technology to deliver the highest quality training & services in a cost effective manner. Yakima County will be recognized as a leader in providing EMS services.

 

Governance

EMS Administrative Board

The EMS Administrative Board is an advisory board that reports to the Yakima County Commissioners. This Board's sole purpose is to advise the commissioners on DEMS operations (budgeting; funding sources, including EMS levy and grant writing; strategic planning, including DEMS facilities and capital equipment; and ensuring quality EMS educational programs and delivery method) to ensure quality provision of EMS to the people of Yakima County. The Board consists of a representation of mayors, fire chiefs, fire commissioners, an ambulance representative, hospital representative and the Yakima County Medical Program Director.

Meetings of the EMS Administrative Board are open to the public. The meetings are held in the Yakima County Resource Building, 2403 So. 18th Street, Union Gap, in Clasroom B at 9:00am.

2018 Meeting Schedule

February 14, 2018 | Minutes
May 9, 2018
August 8, 2018
November 14, 2018

Download the 2018 schedule

February 7, 2017 | Minutes
May 10, 2017 | Minutes
November 8, 2017 | Minutes

Yakima County EMS & Trauma Care Council

This is a board appointed by the Yakima County Commissioners and advises the department and county on local EMS issues. The Yakima County EMS & Trauma Care Council, is required by legislation ( WAC 246-976-970) and it is overseen by the Washington State Department of Health to the South Central Region EMS & Trauma Care Council and then down to the county level, resulting in the Yakima County EMS & Trauma Care Council.

The council is focused on the EMS training and system issues within the County, which are then forwarded to the Region and to the State. Meetings are held in Classroom B at the Yakima County Resource Building, 2403 So. 18th Street, Union Gap. and start at 1:30pm.

2018 Meeting Schedule

February 1, 2018 | Minutes
April 5, 2018 | Minutes
June 7, 2018
August 2, 2018 - meeting cancelled
October 4, 2018 - Nominations Committee Appointed
Decmeber 6, 2018 - Annual Meeting / Elections

Download the meeting schedule

 

History of the EMS Office

By 1985, it had become apparent that the demand for emergency medical services in Yakima County was continuing to grow, and that the system lacked the necessary administrative control and coordination necessary to meet the needs of EMS providers and organizations. Much of this work was being done by volunteers, such as the two emergency physicians who fulfilled the role of Medical Program Director, and the members of the Yakima County EMS Advisory Council. It was clear that a full-time position within local government needed to be created in order to assume these responsibilities.

In October 1986, the Yakima County EMS Advisory Council (now the EMS & Trauma Care Council) published a report recommending the establishment of an EMS coordinator within the structure of county government. The report cited that the “…delivery of EMS in Yakima County is disorganized and lacks medical and administrative control and support. Without effective coordination, the result could be reductions of quality and levels of care.”

Following the Council’s report, the Board of County Commissioners established the Pre-Hospital Care Committee. This group was comprised of elected officials, physicians, fire chiefs, and hospital administrators. The committee published its report on the “Yakima County Emergency Medical Services System” in April, 1987. The report agreed with the Council’s recommendations to create an EMS office. In addition, it also recommended the development of a central dispatch center and 9-1-1 emergency number, as well as the adoption of more restrictive standards and the improvement of system management and control.

The Washington State DSHS, EMS Section (now the Department of Health, Office of EMS & Trauma Prevention) agreed with the recommendations and offered to provide a three-year grant to fund the salary of the proposed “EMS Coordinator.” In exchange, Yakima County would have to provide office space and additional funding for equipment and supplies.

In response to the reports from the two committees, the Yakima County Department of Emergency Medical Services (EMS Office) was established within county government by the Board of Yakima County Commissioners, and a Director hired in September, 1988. It is from these original reports that the EMS office established its mission statement.

The office was originally located in the basement of the County Courthouse in a small room within the Yakima Valley Office of Emergency Management. It was later moved to a slightly larger room next door. A part-time secretary was hired in 1989.

In December, 1996 the office moved to a location in the Yakima Health District building. The office employed a full-time secretary, a Director, EMS Training Coordinator, BLS Trainer and several part-time staff. The full-time staff devoted the majority of their time toward the provision of training and continuing medical education of EMS Personnel in Yakima County.

By July, 2000 the Board of County Commissioners had established an EMS Operations Board; comprised of Yakima Valley Mayor’s, Fire Commissioners, Fire Chief’s, hospital personnel, an ambulance representative and the Medical Program Director. The Board was asked to make a recommendation on the EMS office budget yearly, and assist with EMS system decisions. Recommendations would be sent to the Yakima County Board of Commissioners. The EMS Operations Board had a name change to the EMS Administrative Board. The added duties include a yearly review of the EMS Manager, the EMS office and a review of themselves. They continue to meet quarterly.

Today the EMS office employs a full time EMS Office Specialist, a Director and a Training Coordinator. Additionally several part-time staff are employed to teach the courses. The full-time staff devotes their time towards:

  • Development of curriculum
  • Coordinating and providing both initial and ongoing education throughout the County
  • EMS Evaluator Training
  • Quality assurance and improvement
  • Medical Program Director support
  • Working the Washington State Department of Health, on several committees

The EMS office is located in the Yakima County Resource Building, 2403 S. 18th Street, Suite C, Union Gap.

EMS 101

Learn more about how an EMS system works:

EMS 101

 


OTEP class
Yakima EMS
Ongoing training
Yakima EMS
Emergency Medical Services in Yakima County
When to Call
What constitutes an emergency and when should you call! 911 .... more
When to Call 911
EMS in Yakima