Chelsea Fire and Rescue receives upgraded ISO rating

Published 10:29 am Thursday, March 3, 2022

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CHELSEA – Chelsea Fire Chief Joe Lee had positive news to share from his department at the Chelsea City Council meeting on Tuesday, March 1.

Chelsea Fire and Rescue has received an Insurance Services Office (ISO) rating of 2, according to Lee.

“Chelsea Fire’s last evaluation was conducted in 2015, and at that time we received a classification rating of 3,” Lee said. “I’m happy to announce tonight that we received the results of the evaluation yesterday, and Chelsea Fire has been upgraded to a classification of 2, effective June 1 of this year.”

The ISO gives a public protection classification to fire suppression providers all over the country, which plays an important role in the underwriting process for most insurance companies, Lee explained.

A value between 1-10 is given to each fire department.

“The lower the score, the better the rating,” Lee said. “Every five years, an evaluator from the ISO comes to each department and evaluates the fire suppression capabilities for each department. The classification rating is a direct result of the information gathered.”

Lee said telecommunications and dispatch make up 10 percent of the total; water supply, hydrant placement and hydrant testing make up 40 percent; and the fire department makes up the remaining 50 percent with factors such as how many engines and ladders the department operates, pump capacity for each apparatus, number of reserve trucks, staffing available to respond, training for personnel and community risk reduction.

An ISO evaluator visited Chelsea Fire and Rescue last summer, Lee said.

“The evaluator met with Deputy Chief Jeff Russell, Capt. Tommy King, Capt. Billy Ricketts and Lt. Jason Watson,” he said. “These individuals gathered all of the necessary information requested by the evaluator. This is a tedious and time-consuming process, and we are very thankful to them for their hard work and attention to detail they showed during this process.”

Lee also thanked the mayor and City Council for investing in Chelsea’s fire department.

“It is my goal for Chelsea Fire to give the city and the citizens of Chelsea the best emergency services we can provide based on the investment made in us by the city,” Lee said. “It takes strong city leadership and money to accomplish this goal. The mayor and the council have been more than generous to our department, and it pays off when improvements such as an upgrade in our protection rating is achieved.”

Lee said he is proud to be a member of Chelsea Fire and Rescue, and called his coworkers “a dedicated and hardworking group of professionals.”

“The classification ratings are a two-way street, meaning your rating can go back down in your next evaluation, so remaining stagnant is not an option,” Lee said. “I can assure all of you that we will not ever be satisfied with where we are, and we will always be looking for ways to improve and better ourselves and our fire department.”