The City of Sunnyside Fire Department was formed in 1905 as a combination career and volunteer fire department by Ordinance #35. The original ordinance was very forward-thinking for its time and focused the Fire Department on two critical missions: to minimize fire losses and promote fire prevention.
The original Fire Department consisted of a fire chief, assistant fire chief, secretary / treasurer, engineer, and assistant engineer. The department was augmented by an unknown cadre of volunteer firefighters to provide manpower during times of need. At the time of the initial charter, fire prevention was at the top of the list of the department’s priorities and still is today.
Our department and its mission have not changed all that much over the years. A nucleus of 16 career staff and 18 volunteer firefighters continue to embrace the proud heritage and traditions of our forefathers by providing high quality, committed, and cost-effective services to our community.
As the public perception and mandates have changed, the department has kept pace with the expectations of the community. In the 1960s the department obtained its first rescue / aid vehicle and began responding to emergency medical calls. Throughout the years, we assisted a number of private ambulance services with equipment and manpower. In the early 1970s, the department added their first Emergency Medical Technician to provide an even higher level of care to the community.
In 1989, we began the first community-funded fire-based ambulance service in our area. Today we provide Advanced Life Support (ALS) to our community and a significant part of the lower Yakima Valley. We cover an estimated are of 180 square miles in the southeastern portion of Yakima County. We also provide coverage outside our initial response area to neighboring cities as necessary. The cross-training of our suppression and EMS staff allows us to provide a quality fire-based all-hazards service to the community of Sunnyside and the surrounding area.