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Sanibel Fire’s improved rating helps save money

By Staff | Jul 22, 2015

The Sanibel Fire Department improved its ISO rating to a best-ever three after the latest survey through the Public Protection Classification program. One of the SFD’s shifts includes (L to R) John Griffith, Carl Johanson, Bill Briscoe, Fire Chief Danny Duncan and Rob Doerr. BRIAN WIERIMA

Hard work in improving its ISO rating is paying off for the Sanibel Fire Department, which in turn is a good payoff for the island’s businesses and homeowners.

The SFD has consistently lowered its ISO rating since 2000, going from a six to a five in 2010, then a big leap this year from a five to a three. ISO rating is based on a scale of 1-10, with one being the absolute best and 10 having no fire department at all.

“Three months ago the survey was done and we dropped to a three, which is the best score Sanibel Fire Department has ever head,” said SFD Fire Chief Danny Duncan.

The ISO is run through the Public Protection Classification (PPC) program, which collects information on municipal fire departments throughout the nation. The program provides safety standards for local fire departments, helping them plan and budget for facilities, equipment and training.

But the community is directly affected, as well, since a better ISO rating aids in lowering fire insurance premiums, which provides incentives and rewards for communities which want to improve their fire department services.

“There were a few areas in which it helped us to achieve our 3 rating, and that included our emergency communications system, our training and our pre-planning program,” Chief Duncan said.

The improvement of SFD’s emergency communications system has increased their response time, which went into the rating.

“We have mutual aid agreements with other area departments, to where they automatically will receive the call and will respond, unless we contact them to not to respond,” Chief Duncan said. “That has increased our first response.”

The other improvement came in training of the 21 firefighters, who work the different shifts at SFD. In the 2010 survey, the score didn’t take in account the training tower SFD has on its premises, but this time, it did.

The SFD personnel also undergoes live fire training in Fort Myers at the Fire Academy, which also helped with the ISO rating.

“We own our own fire hydrants and maintain them well,” Chief Duncan said. “Every October we flow every hydrant and we received almost full credit for how good our water system is.”

The fact SFD inspects all 1,341 occupancies on Sanibel by Fire Marshall Rick Tassoni also went into the rating.

The ISO evaluation process includes: 10 points accounted for the review of the emergency communications system; 50 points for the review of the fire department of the total classification (reviewing such things as engine companies, ladder or service companies, deployment of fire companies, equipment carried on apparatus, pumping capacity, reserve apparatus, company personnel and training); water supply accounts for 40 points and 5.5 points account for a review of a community’s risk reduction efforts.

“Just the fact we keep very good records and we are consistent helped, as well,” Chief Duncan included.

Insurance companies use the ISO rating to help in setting their fire insurance premiums. In essence, lower the score, lower the premium.

“All the insurance companies incorporate the rating in some way or another,” Chief Duncan said. “I’ve heard it can be from anywhere from a five to 20-percent drop in fire insurance premiums. Bottom line, it’s better and it will save some money.”

Chief Duncan credits the dedicated personnel of the Sanibel Fire Department in working towards the ISO rating of three, which is probably the best the department can achieve, unless it adds another station, engine and more firefighters.

“We congratulated the guys on the great job they do,” Chief Duncan said. “It’s a good measuring stick and shows the guys that all the work they do, does not go unnoticed.”

Sanibel Fire’s improved rating helps save money

By Staff | Jul 22, 2015

Hard work in improving its ISO rating is paying off for the Sanibel Fire Department, which in turn is a good payoff for the island’s businesses and homeowners.

The SFD has consistently lowered its ISO rating since 2000, going from a six to a five in 2010, then a big leap this year from a five to a three. ISO rating is based on a scale of 1-10, with one being the absolute best and 10 having no fire department at all.

“Three months ago the survey was done and we dropped to a three, which is the best score Sanibel Fire Department has ever head,” said SFD Fire Chief Danny Duncan.

The ISO is run through the Public Protection Classification (PPC) program, which collects information on municipal fire departments throughout the nation. The program provides safety standards for local fire departments, helping them plan and budget for facilities, equipment and training.

But the community is directly affected, as well, since a better ISO rating aids in lowering fire insurance premiums, which provides incentives and rewards for communities which want to improve their fire department services.

“There were a few areas in which it helped us to achieve our 3 rating, and that included our emergency communications system, our training and our pre-planning program,” Chief Duncan said.

The improvement of SFD’s emergency communications system has increased their response time, which went into the rating.

“We have mutual aid agreements with other area departments, to where they automatically will receive the call and will respond, unless we contact them to not to respond,” Chief Duncan said. “That has increased our first response.”

The other improvement came in training of the 21 firefighters, who work the different shifts at SFD. In the 2010 survey, the score didn’t take in account the training tower SFD has on its premises, but this time, it did.

The SFD personnel also undergoes live fire training in Fort Myers at the Fire Academy, which also helped with the ISO rating.

“We own our own fire hydrants and maintain them well,” Chief Duncan said. “Every October we flow every hydrant and we received almost full credit for how good our water system is.”

The fact SFD inspects all 1,341 occupancies on Sanibel by Fire Marshall Rick Tassoni also went into the rating.

The ISO evaluation process includes: 10 points accounted for the review of the emergency communications system; 50 points for the review of the fire department of the total classification (reviewing such things as engine companies, ladder or service companies, deployment of fire companies, equipment carried on apparatus, pumping capacity, reserve apparatus, company personnel and training); water supply accounts for 40 points and 5.5 points account for a review of a community’s risk reduction efforts.

“Just the fact we keep very good records and we are consistent helped, as well,” Chief Duncan included.

Insurance companies use the ISO rating to help in setting their fire insurance premiums. In essence, lower the score, lower the premium.

“All the insurance companies incorporate the rating in some way or another,” Chief Duncan said. “I’ve heard it can be from anywhere from a five to 20-percent drop in fire insurance premiums. Bottom line, it’s better and it will save some money.”

Chief Duncan credits the dedicated personnel of the Sanibel Fire Department in working towards the ISO rating of three, which is probably the best the department can achieve, unless it adds another station, engine and more firefighters.

“We congratulated the guys on the great job they do,” Chief Duncan said. “It’s a good measuring stick and shows the guys that all the work they do, does not go unnoticed.”