My family has been following the stories about how emergency response times vary within Benton County Fire District 4. I have talked to Chief Whealan and our fire commissioners about it. It is good to know they have a plan to make it better.
In the western part of the district, response times can take almost 17 minutes. That doesn’t seem fair considering we all pay the same taxes and the rest of the district sees an emergency response faster than that. The reason for this is there is no station or equipment positioned out there to respond when you call 911.
Benton County Fire District 4 is planning on changing that, and has bought land to build another station in Red Mountain. There has been a lot of growth in the area because of wine, the city of West Richland and the school district. They need their own station, fire engines and possibly an ambulance.
Bottom line: It will benefit the entire district by having more emergency units to respond.
Ed Keeney, West Richland