The tiered response was a program started in 2013 by Yakima County as a way to help save lives and resources.

The director of the county 911 system Wayne Wantland says the program allows the 911 operator to determine what type of response is needed.

If higher of level of medical care needed we would send police fire and ambulance. But other calls might only warrant sending an ambulance.

That new system for the Yakima Fire Department has so far resulted in a 30 percent decrease in the number of emergency medical calls. This allows fire officials are available for more serious calls more often and not being tied up in calls where they are not needed.