Pierce City Fire Department District Improves ISO Rating
The Pierce City Fire Protection District (PCFPD) is proud to announce that we have achieve a significant increase in our Insurance Services Office (ISO) ratings. “This increase comes after years of work, which was part of our promise during the promotion of forming a Fire Protection District” said Fire Chief Rick Mercer. We thank the citizens of our district for voting for and passing the tax district. Before the pending increase the city of Pierce City was rated a 7 and the rural areas are rated a 9.
Assistant Chief David Jones, explained through the years strategic decisions were made on placement of stations along with well planned improvements in equipment have enabled the PCFPD to achieve this increase. PCFPD currently has 4 fire stations located across the 145 sq. miles that we currently cover. Within each station we house a brush truck, pumper and tanker with a current staff of 25 firefighters and medical responders. Our tanker fleet can move 13,000 gallons of water on the initial call. In 2013 rescue and extrication equipment were added to our Station #1 pumper which has greatly enhance are abilities on accidents.
The dedication of our volunteers to attend training and improve our department has been instrumental in our success. “In today’s world finding and retaining firefighters is extremely challenging, we currently have a very dedicated group that continue to give their time and effort without compensation,” said Battalion Chief Larry Eden.
On Feb 1, 2016 the new rating go into effect with a rating of 5/6/10 which means.
Any insured property with 1000 ft. of a water source (hydrants) will receive a rating of 5.
The rural areas within 5 road miles of a fire station are rated a 6.
Anything over 5 road miles from a station is rated a 10.
The advantage of the lower ISO rating is usually seen in a reduction of your insurance premiums, it is strongly suggested that you contact your insurance agent and ask for your insurance to be reevaluate for any potential reductions. You need to understand that a few insurance companies do not use the ISO system, instead they spread their losses over a state or region. It is always a good practice to shop premiums based on this new rating.
The additional advantage of the increased ratings is that this signifies that your fire department has been working hard to improve their equipment and services. The ISO rating is based off of three important factors Emergency Communications, Fire Department and Water Supply. PCFPD has worked hard over the years to improve in all of these areas.
Both city and rural were only a few points from dropping one more point on the rating scale, so our goal is to continue our efforts to lower even more. What are the plans for future increases?
In Oct 2015 we purchased new fire gear for every firefighter to replace the gear that was 13 years old and considered obsolete by NFPA.
We are exploring options to create living quarters with in a station for resident firefighters to live in exchange for time spent doing station duties similar to a work shift. This program could even be tied to local college fire degree programs to assist students with pursuing a fire career. When done right this option gives us point’s that are equivalent to having a manned station without the burden of payroll cost.
We also just finished an in house Firefighter 1 & 2 certification class and those students will proceed on to state certification testing.
We are supporting Pierce City’s efforts to promote a bond issue to improve their water system, when the system upgrades are finished this will allow us to lower their ISO based on the improved water supply. Currently we supplement Pierce City’s water system with tankers in the event of a fire based on what part of the city the fire is located. Without improvements to their aging water system, Pierce City could potentially see their ISO rating decrease, this would be based on being rated the same as the rural areas of homes not being located within 1000 ft of a water source. Pierce City Mayor Allen Stockton stated, we consider the water issue to be a significant risk based on the challenges of fighting fire in town as opposed to rural settings.
Finally, we continue to enhance our outreach education programs. We work with the schools to promote fire prevention, support library programs and welcome the chance to speak to local groups. If at any time your group needs information or support fell free to contact us. We also actively update our Facebook page giving information on calls, weather issues and other information.