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Benton County Fire District 4 provides fire and emergency medical service (EMS) to approximately 22,000 people over 52 square miles. Our service area includes the city of West Richland and the unincorporated areas around it. In 2023, our firefighters, emergency medical technicians, and paramedics respond to an average of 2,200 calls, 67% of which were EMS-related.

Our fire district started as an all-volunteer department in 1954. Now we rely on volunteers as well as paid and part-time personnel to respond to emergencies. The West Richland community is growing at a rapid rate, and we need your help. You can train as a firefighter, emergency medical technician, or firefighter/EMT. EMTs are in high demand right now as 67% of our calls are for medical emergencies. Becoming a volunteer is a great way to give back to your community and it helps keep property taxes low compared to other staffing models.

Fire Safety and Spring-Cleaning Tips

Burn Awareness Week focuses on burn prevention and awareness. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), 276,086 people received medical care for treatment of unintentional burn injuries in 2020, with 3,028 deaths from fire and smoke inhalation in the United States. A few tips to keep you and loved ones safe are:

  • Keep little ones safe from burns and scalds by having a “kid-free zone” in the kitchen of at least 3 feet around hot appliances.
  • Place hot objects so that they cannot be pulled down or knocked over and always turn pot handles away from the stove’s edge.
  • Wear short, close-fitting or tightly rolled sleeves when cooking.
  • Teach children that hot things can burn.
  • Use dry oven mitts or potholders. Hot cookware can heat moisture in a potholder or hot pad, resulting in a scald burn.
  • Never hold a child while you are cooking, drinking a hot
  • liquid, or carrying hot foods or liquids.

What to do if a burn occurs:

  • Treat a burn right away by putting it in cool water for 3 to 5 minutes.
  • Cover the burn with a clean, dry cloth. Do not apply creams, ointments, sprays or other home remedies.
  • Remove all clothing, diapers, jewelry and metal from the burned area. These can hide underlying burns and retain heat, which can increase skin damage.

When should you call 911?

  • See your doctor or call 911 if the burn is larger than your palm.
  • When in doubt, call 911. Don’t wait to call 911 or your local emergency number for medical help. Seconds count.

PRESENTATION AVAILABLE Do you belong to a service organization, community group, or homeowner association that is looking for speakers? Fire Chief Paul Carlyle welcomes invitations to speak to local groups. He can provide an overview of the Fire District, and answer any questions about emergency response in Benton County Fire District #4.

Please direct meeting requests to [email protected] or call Station 420 at (509) 967-2945.