Newspaper Archive of
Feather River Bulletin
Quincy, California
December 2, 2015     Feather River Bulletin
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December 2, 2015

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Bulletin, Record, Progressive, Reporter Wednesday, Dec. 2, 2015 5B od is artm rt 2 In Part I we started to review one of the older systems of rating community fire protection - the Insurance Services Office system. Today the ISO business is owned and operated by a for-profit company named Verisk Analytics. They offer risk assessment services and decision analytics for many fields, including that of property and casualty insurance. The ISO rating in your community may be used by your agent to help determine your property/casualty insurance rates. ISO uses a system called the Fire Suppression Rating Schedule, analyzing relevant fire protection data and assigning a Public Protection Classification number from 1 to 10. Class 1 generally represents superior property fire protection, and Class 10 indicates that the area's fire suppression program does not meet ISO's minimum criteria. For the purposes of this article and simplicity, we'll call it the ISO Rating, as it is typically known in the fire service. In general, the price of fire insurance in a community with a good ISO rating is lower than with a poor one, assuming all other factors are equal. There is no requirement to use the rating or system. Insurance companies can choose to what degree it will be used, or not use it at all. For example, perhaps your community has a nine rating, suggesting a higher risk and insurance rate. However, in this case your home is new and built to the latest fire code, has a residential fire sprinkler system installed, a good water supply, and very good defensible space.' The agent could choose to give you a much better rate, as their risk of fire loss would be lower. On the other end, some insurance companies have pulled out of offering any insurance in high-risk areas such as those in wild land-urban interface settings, and could do so even in an area that has a good ISO rating. Those are business decisions. ISO historically evaluated three major categories of fire suppression: your fire department, the emergency communications system, and the water supply and system available for fire suppression. In addition, it now includes a Community Risk Reduction section that recognizes community efforts to reduce losses through fire INSIDE THE FIREHOUSE Plumas TOM FORSTFR Fire Chief Eureka Fire Department prevention, public fire safety education and fire investigation. The ratings are established, maintained and updated through field and other surveys conducted by ISO staff. The Emergency Communications System reviews accounts for 10 points out of 105.5 total points possible. It focuses on facilities and support for handling and dispatching reports and alarms for structure fires. In the case of Plumas County, there are two public safety dispatch centers - the Plumas County Sheriff's Office in Quincy, dispatching central, southern and eastern portions of the County; and the Susanville Interagency Fire Center, dispatching fire services in the Lake Almanor area and other locations outside of the county. The Water Supply review considers adequacy of water supply for fire protection purposes, and accounts for 4'0 points. This includes fire hydrant systems -- types, size, installation and testing programs. For example, how much water can the system provide to help fight a fire and for how long? The Fire Department How are your community fire engines are rated. Photo by Tom Forster analysis accounts for 50 points, and includes review of fire suppression capabilities. Factors like staffing, fire engines, deployment, equipment carried, pumping capacity, reserve engines, hose testing and ladder or service companies are included. Full-time staff gets more credit than volunteer firefighters per person, since volunteers may or may not be available to fight a fire at any given time. Finally, the new category of Risk Reduction is "extra credit," with another 5.5 points possible, totaling 105.5 points in the four categories. 40th Annual Holiday Craft Faire Sat., Dec. 5th * 9am-3pm Plumas-Slerra Count' "Stop the c a r - l e t's e at !" Certificates, the perfect gift Dine in Takeout n ne, 59428 Highway 70 Open Cromberg, Ca Wednesday 530 836 1365 through Sunday Where do I turn for hel of Your Rope? The Plumas-Sierra Crisis Line at: 530-283-4333 1-877-332-2754 for information & referrals. Text: Here2Help to 72727 A program of Plumas Crisis Intervention & Resource Center used in the ISO rating system? This is Part II of a three part series on how fire departments This includes fire prevention emergency medical or rescue Emergency Services code adoption and services. It does not assess maintains a list of ratings enforcement, fire the quality of leadership, under the fire districts investigation, and fire safety recruiting, retention, section at public education efforts, fundraising or customer The system is focused on service, It is a very useful spx?nid=2126. property and casualty tool, but like all tools has In Part III, we'll look at a insurance risk assessment, limitations to be aware of. newer evaluation system and,does not include some For more information, go with a more comprehensive very important FD needs or to Forlook at FD's for different qualities. The rating does your current FD rating, the reasons, and not meant to not, for example, analyze Plumas County Office of replace the ISO tool. 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