The Valley Center Fire Protection District last week received a letter from the Insurance Services Office (ISO) that the ISO rate will increase from 3/3X to 2/2X effective December 1, which is an improvement, since the reduction of the number, well.
According to the ISO: “ISO’s Public Protection Classification Program (PPC) plays an important role in the underwriting of insurance companies. In fact, many US insurers – including large ones – use PPC information as part of their decision-making process when selecting a business to underwrite, what they have to offer or what they charge for personal or commercial property insurance.”
VCFPD Chief Joe Napier said, “VCFPD is pleased to announce that we have received the results of our five year Insurance review and our ISO rating has changed from Class 3 3X to Class 2 2X. This is a direct reflection of the continued hard work and commitment to excellence that the district has set as a priority. “
This is also part of the improvement measures that the district has taken over the years. As the Chief explained, “
“For example, after the ISO evaluation in 2012, we were rated 5/5X. In 2017, we were 3 3X and now in 2022 we will be 2/2X. ISO will evaluate the fire department’s ability to prevent fires, but when If a fire occurs for any reason, ISO sets a group of possibilities to prevent the spread of fire in the area. “
Napier added, “The measurement tool that ISO uses to evaluate firefighters starts with deploying equipment and personnel to each fire. It is the ability to contain the same fire to the point of origin or object (car, house, room, commercial enterprise). The second part of the assessment is continuous water provided by our water district through a reliable network and power. The next step is to connect with technology. VCFPD is served by the North County Dispatch JPA which has the highest number of highly trained personnel, the best technology and the best dispatch programs available to any fire department in the country. Finally, the fire department’s fire prevention and risk reduction efforts are focused on community outreach, education, fire code enforcement and cooperation with construction companies to create safer homes and businesses. “
Route Operator He asked what the consequences will be for the common house owner?
“ISO classifications are used by insurance companies to assess how people are struggling to fight a fire, no matter what the cause,” Napier said. “We hope that insurance companies will see this improvement in the ISO group in the state so that insurance companies can bring more products to the insurance market at lower prices.”
According to ISO’s letter to fire departments: “Each insurance company decides on its own policyholder premiums. How an insurance company uses ISO certifications for fire safety can depend on a number of factors – the company’s performance in firefighting, the way in which it is built pricing, writing tips, and marketing strategies.
With a new fire station expected to open sometime next year, Route Operator he asked if the district would wait another five years for this to affect the ISO level. “No,” said Napier. “When the 3rd fire station becomes operational, commercial businesses and individuals who live within five miles of the fire station or from any fire station in the Valley Center region will enjoy second class insurance and access to medicine.”
The fire chief has met many people in the Valley who have lost or lost their homeowner’s insurance due to the effects of wildfires over the past two decades. Officials and the office of 5th District Supervisor Jim Desmond are working to take action on the matter. Napier told the newspaper, “We had a meeting with Desmond’s group and contacted the California State Insurance Commissioner to look at ways that the fire district and Supervisor’s Desmond’s district 5 can support the availability of insurance in the private market at lower rates. “This starts with the ISO firefighting team and its ability to respond to fires in any area that may cause them,” he said.
“Class 2 teams are currently based on our current deployment of two stations and ISO rated our only support partners, which include all fire departments, the city of Escondido, the Deer Springs Fire Protection District and the North County Fire Protection District,” said Napier. “Adding 3 fire stations will give us more points in what we’re trying to do to get closer to a Class 1 fire department. That’s the highest ISO rating—but it’s going to take more than just adding a fire station to get us to a Class 1 facility.” He added, “We are claiming to be Class 2 and it has taken everything we have added in the last five years as a goal to get us to our next ISO category. This is also a reflection of the district’s commitment to continuous improvement to support the citizens who live, work and play in the Valley Center. “
Points are awarded based on the location of the stations and the types of equipment used. “Large fire engines, which are called Type 1, also get points from organizations that have such engines.” They are the “big red” fire extinguishers that most people associate with firefighters. It earns points for its “ability to release large amounts of water from reliable water sources with highly trained firefighters fighting the fire.” The VCFPD has two Type 1 engines and one Type 6. “We also have a fire station, which is a Type 1 that we can have to protect the community during a Red Flag. Like Monday,” Napier said.
The officer concluded, “When your readers look at the deployment of firefighters looking at the fire station with at least three firefighters at the station on type 1 fire equipment, responding to any incident that is all dangerous. Although this group does not include our services medical services or our wildfire-fighting capabilities. It also considers wildfires burning homes and businesses and our ability to prevent and protect them.”