GALION – The Galion Fire & EMS Department was recently recertified with a Class 3 rating by the Insurance Services Office. Out of 48,642 fire departments in the U.S., 10 percent have a Class 3 rating or better.
An improved ISO rating results in lowered premiums for home, property, and commercial building insurance. Reductions are dependent on several other variables and will vary by insurance company.
“It’s about looking at and placing a grade or rating on the overall operation of our city fire department and the various complimentary services,” Fire Chief Phil Jackson said.
He credited increased staffing paid for by a SAFER (Staffing for Adequate Fire and Emergency Response) grant as a key reason for maintaining the rating. The $782,848 grant allowed for three additional, full-time firefighters.
“That grant allows us to put much needed manpower on the initial fire scene immediately, as opposed to waiting for the next available units,” Jackson said.
In 2017, the department was first upgraded from a Class 5 rating to a Class 3, thanks in large part to the purchase of an aerial fire truck.
Other Import factors that helped maintain the rating included:
*Complete Records of annual Water, Pump, Ladder, and Hose testing.
*Thorough documentation of staff training.
*Dispatch efficiency and security.
*Amount of available water and the water systems flow rate.
*Community fire safety programming and Fire Inspections .
The Insurance Services Office was formed in 1971 as an advisory and rating organization for the property and casualty insurance industry. The organization collects statistical data and promulgates rating information on behalf of insurance companies. In the most recent ISO review, Galion received full credit for pump capacity, which determines if a department has sufficient equipment to handle the largest facilities within its jurisdiction. This was in large part due to replacing the aerial truck that was sold in 2009.