GREENWOOD – Greenwood Rural VFD Chief John Burgoyne informed the Parker County Emergency Services District 7 commissioners at its Aug. 22 board meeting that the Greenwood Rural VFD had once again improved its ISO rating – this time from a 6 to a 5.
Fire districts are rated by ISO on a scale from 1-to-10 – a 1 is the best rating possible and a 10 is equivalent to having no fire service at all. It is possible for departments with fire hydrants to achieve a 1 rating, but a 5 is quite good for a department like Greenwood, Burgoyne said, which has just three hydrants in its district. Departments like Greenwood have to haul water to all their fires, and that is a difficult thing to do, he said.
ISO, the Insurance Services Office Inc., is a company that rates more than 45,000 fire districts in the United States. It made its final rating decision for Greenwood Rural VFD after an exhaustive study. An ISO field representative visited Greenwood for several days in a February-through-May timeframe. While in the district, he studied the Greenwood volunteers from many perspectives. He performed a detailed analysis of training procedures, equipment capabilities, apparatus functionality, annual safety checks, maintenance practices, water supply, dispatch procedures, firefighter certifications, and operating guidelines to evaluate the department’s overall effectiveness, Burgoyne said.
“We improved our rating from a 9 to a 6 back in 2006 but changes we have made in staff, equipment and procedures enabled us to improve again,” said Battalion Chief Mike Ellis. “We are very proud of the 5 rating.”
“We will continue to make improvements with the ESD’s help and in a few years we hope we can again announce that we have been able to achieve an improvement in our rating,” Burgoyne said. “The passage of the ESD 7 election back in 2009 is the most significant thing that has allowed for the improved rating. With the ESD’s help we now have a day crew of off-duty career firefighters and that has helped us to continue to improve our response time and performance. The real benefit of the improved rating will be for the residents of the Greenwood fire district. The lower the rating number is, the lower the cost will be for fire insurance, which is a large part of homeowners insurance.”