Frequently Asked Questions

Why does a fire truck show up with the ambulance when I call 911?

When a 911 call is made, the closest Advanced Life Support Ambulance with a Paramedic will respond to the emergency. If the emergency is deemed immediately life threatening by an Emergency Medical Dispatcher (EMD), a fire apparatus with additional EMTs is dispatched at the same time to ensure there are plenty of highly trained individuals to assist with your emergency.

I need an ambulance for standby at an event. Who do I contact?

Please contact us at (509) 574-8444. We will be happy to assist you further.

Are ambulances available for school presentations, job fairs, etc.?

We are happy to help out with that! We have done many different “show-and-tell” type events for children, job fairs and other community events in our area. Please call (509) 574-8444 to set up a date and time.

Am I able to do a ride-along with the ambulance?

We do allow people to ride-along on the ambulance. This is generally for people interested in becoming an EMT, or for students currently enrolled in an EMT course. We have previously allowed high-school students (18 years old) to ride-along through school approved career interest programs. If you are interested in ride-along with ALS, please contact our Field Captain, Jeff Davie at (509) 574-8444.

What training opportunities does ALS offer to the community?

We offer a wide-range of classes to the community through our training department. This includes training in First Aid, CPR, and AED use. Upon successful completion of a class a card will be issued, which can then be used to meet job requirements throughout many different areas of employment. For more information, contact our Training Captain, Kasey Jo at (509) 574-8444. A training section of the website will be online in the very near future and will contain class dates, times and descriptions. We also offer classes for health care professionals, including PHTLS, PALS, ACLS and AMLS.

What should I do when an emergency vehicle approaches me with lights and sirens?

When an emergency vehicle approaches you should pull to the right side of the road and stop. If you are unable to move to the right, stop and allow emergency vehicles to move around you. This will allow the vehicle to safely pass you and continue to the emergency. If you are at an intersection you should stop and allow the emergency vehicle to safely pass through the intersection before continuing.

RCW 46.61.210

What should I do when I see an emergency vehicle parked on the side of the road with red/blue lights?

If you are on a freeway or highway, if possible, move to the far lane away from the emergency vehicle and reduce your speed by 10 – 20 mph. If you are unable to move into the far lane, reduce your speed by 10 – 20 mph and be cautious of emergency responders in the area. There is a new state law requiring this for all Washington drivers.

Move On AmericaRCW 46.61.212Washington State Patrol Brochure

Why do emergency vehicles go through an intersection with lights and sirens and then turn them off?

Sometimes, on the way to a call, the emergency vehicle is canceled. Another ambulance may have become available closer to the emergency, the patient was not found, or the responding ambulance was cancelled by another responder. The ambulance that went through the intersection is now back “in service” and is no longer responding to any emergency, so the lights and sires are shut off and the ambulance returns to a station.

Why do ambulances use sirens all the time, even at night?

Lights and sirens must be activated when en route to an emergency when other vehicles are in the vicinity, or when moving through an intersection. This helps ensure both the safety of our crew, and the safety of other motorists. Safety is our #1 goal.

What steps can I take to make it easier for an ambulance to find my home?

The best way to for an ambulance to find your residence is to make sure your address / house number is clearly visible from the street. If there are any street name signs missing or damaged in the area please report them to the city of Yakima by clicking here. When calling 911, if possible, report any custom directions to the 911 dispatcher that might assist emergency responders i.e “3rd house on the left, on the dirt road” or “In the alleyway, through the backdoor”. Also, if possible, it helps to have someone safely stand near the street to “flag down” emergency responders as they approach.

What is the difference between an EMT and a paramedic?

An EMT – Basic is a highly trained individual proficient in administering life-saving care to sick and injured individuals. These individuals are trained to recognize immediate threats to life, and are able to provide rapid care and transport to the nearest hospital. Common skills include basic airway management, spinal immobilization, cardiopulmonary resuscitation, bleeding control, preventing shock, and cardiac automated external defibrillation use. An EMT-Basic is also able to administer certain medications, including oxygen, aspirin, oral glucose and activated charcoal. An EMT – Intermediate is able to perform all the skills of an EMT – Basic, and has further training in medication administration, airway management and IV access.

A paramedic is the highest trained prehospital provider on the ambulance. These individuals must have worked as an EMT – Basic for at least two years, and undergo a rigorous 3000+ hours of training both through classwork and clinical (hospital and ambulance) sites. This is done through a state accredited program or university. Paramedics administer over 40 medications in the field and are proficient in advanced airway management, advanced cardiac life support, pediatric advanced life support and prehospital trauma life support. Paramedics and EMTs work side by side on our ambulances, providing the best care possible to our patients.

How do I become an EMT or paramedic?

To become an EMT there are classes offered both through Yakima County, surrounding community colleges and universities. Many local volunteer fire departments also offer EMT training through the county, held at various times throughout the year. We recommend you contact the Yakima County EMS office for further information. To become a paramedic, you must work as an EMT for a minimum of two years. A list of approved paramedic training locations can be found here.

Who do I speak to regarding an ambulance bill?

Our billing department will be happy to assist you with any billing inquiries. They can be contacted at (509) 574-8444 during normal office hours, Monday – Friday, 8 am – 5 pm. A message can be left if calling after hours and they will get back to you as soon as possible. If you would like to pay your bill online, please click HERE.

Other Pages in this Section

For dispatch & other inquiries, call (509) 574-8444