(1) An eligible employee may transfer into the fire protection district civil service system, if any, or if none, then may request transfer of employment under this section by filing a written request with the board of fire commissioners of the fire protection district and by giving written notice to the legislative authority of the city, code city, or town. Upon receipt of such request by the board of fire commissioners the transfer of employment shall be made. The employee so transferring will: (a) Be on probation for the same period as are new employees of the fire protection district in the position filled, but if the transferring employee has already completed a probationary period as a firefighter prior to the transfer, then the employee may only be terminated during the probationary period for failure to adequately perform assigned duties, not meeting the minimum qualifications of the position, or behavior that would otherwise be subject to disciplinary action; (b) be eligible for promotion no later than after completion of the probationary period; (c) receive a salary at least equal to that of other new employees of the fire protection district in the position filled; and (d) in all other matters, such as retirement, vacation, and sick leave, have all the rights, benefits, and privileges to which he or she would have been entitled as an employee of the fire protection district from the beginning of employment with the city, code city, or town fire department: PROVIDED, That for purposes of layoffs by the annexing fire agency, only the time of service accrued with the annexing agency shall apply unless an agreement is reached between the collective bargaining representatives of the employees of the annexing and annexed fire agencies and the annexing and annexed fire agencies. The city, code city, or town shall, upon receipt of such notice, transmit to the board of fire commissioners a record of the employee's service with the city, code city, or town which shall be credited to such employee as a part of the period of employment in the fire protection district. All accrued benefits are transferable provided that the recipient agency provides comparable benefits. All benefits shall then accrue based on the combined seniority of each employee in the recipient agency.
(2) As many of the transferring employees shall be placed upon the payroll of the fire protection district as the district determines are needed to provide services. These needed employees shall be taken in order of seniority and the remaining employees who transfer as provided in this section and RCW 52.04.111
shall head the list for employment in the civil service system in order of their seniority, to the end that they shall be the first to be reemployed in the fire protection district when appropriate positions become available: PROVIDED, That employees who are not immediately hired by the fire protection district shall be placed on a reemployment list for a period not to exceed thirty-six months unless a longer period is authorized by an agreement reached between the collective bargaining representatives of the employees of the annexing and annexed fire agencies and the annexing and annexed fire agencies.