By CHRISTIN COYNE
WILLOW PARK – Willow Park’s fire protection rating has improved and should lead to insurance coverage savings for property owners in the city, Fire Chief Brent Sauble announced Tuesday night.
Willow Park Fire Rescue found out about a month ago that the fire department earned an ISO Public Protection Classification rating of 3, improving from a 4, according to Sauble.
The classification system gauges the department’s fire protection capabilities and is determined by the various factors involving the fire department, the area water supply and emergency communications.
Weatherford has a rating of 3, while Hudson Oaks has a rating of 4 and Aledo has a rating of 7 inside the city, according to information presented by Sauble.
There were several factors for the better rating.
Sauble said increased staffing for the fire department has helped, along with a full-time training coordinator to help with training and certifications.
An engine with better pumping capacity purchased in 2010, as well as a new Station No. 2, reconstructed in 2008, were also factors, he said.
In addition to the rating being a proven predictor of future fire losses, Sauble said the city’s residents should see a drop in insurance rates.
Sauble said he called three area insurance businesses and estimated the average savings to be about $80 a year for the improved fire protection classification.
Willow Park had a rating of 7 when he started with the department in 2005, Sauble said. Since then, the department began providing 24/7 fire and EMS services and has eight full-time staff.
To maintain the rating, Sauble said, the department will need to maintain the level of staffing, which is currently at two firefighters per engine, rather than the preferred three or four firefighters, as well as continue the training, certifications, annual hydrant testing and business fire inspections.