Firefighters are known for primarily putting out fires, but there is much more to their job. For some local firefighters, their job can take them off land and into the water.
The Yakima River runs right through Benton County Fire District #2, based in Benton City. The fire district responds to an average of 1,000 calls per year, including water rescue calls. The department has a trained swift water rescue team, but the firefighters have never had their own rescue boat. Without a boat, the fire district is forced to rely on the Benton County Sheriff's Office or Columbia Basin Dive Rescue. However, the sheriff's office is based in Richland, which means it could be up to an hour-long drive. Columbia Basin Dive Rescue is completely made up of volunteers and only offers sub-surface level service.