Richmond Hill recently received an Insurance Services Office rating of 4 for its fire-protection services for the city.
Based on an objective standard, ISO evaluates public fire-protection services in communities nationwide and rates them on a scale of one to 10, according to the press release from the City of Richmond Hill. A rating of one signifies superiority in fire protection and a score of 10 indicates that the program does not meet ISO’s quality standards.
According to the press release, this rating is then used by fire insurance companies to set premiums for residential and commercial properties in each city; the lower the rating is, the lower the insurance rates are for the community.
“We are extremely pleased with the current ISO rating,” said Richmond Hill Fire Chief Ralph Catlett. “As with anything, there is always room for improvement and in the future we hope to have the lowest possible rating for the citizens of Richmond Hill.”
Only 5,000 fire departments in the country currently have a rating of four, according to Catlett.
This, he said, is a strong rating that can be utilized for future planning and budgeting for fire facilities, water systems, equipment and response services.
“Considering the audit was conducted when we were between fire chiefs and before completion of the old fire station’s renovations, earning an ISO rating of four is a true testament to the fantastic job our staff did during this time of transition,” said Richmond Hill Mayor Harold Fowler. “I feel confident that within the next couple of years, we’ll be able to lower the rating to a three, thereby lowering fire insurance rates.”
Pembroke also has an ISO rating of 4 and the county has a rating of 5.