The last area evaluated was the fire alarm notification system. Representatives evaluated the 911 center to determine the number of dispatchers working in the center, the type of telephone service, and the number of phone lines. Evaluators also review the number of dispatch circuits and how the center notifies the firefighters of an emergency. The fire alarm system represents ten percent of the total score.
Battalion Chief Rob Bullock coordinated the evaluation on behalf of the District and completed hundreds of hours of preparation for the on site visit. Several local fire departments including Glide, Lookingglass, Oakland, and Winston assisted during a practical test involving using water tenders to shuttle water into areas without fire hydrants. Battalion Chief Bullock was extremely appreciative of the neighboring department’s willingness to help the District during its evaluation. Bullock stated, “Our neighboring departments and water suppliers were incredible throughout the testing process”.
Results of the evaluation won’t be known for about six months. District Officials are hopeful that the District will retain its current rating or improve in some areas. Residents who live within five miles of a fire station but don’t have a fire hydrant near their home may have the most to gain. District personnel were evaluated to determine if they were able to maintain effective firefighting flows utilizing water tenders and portable tanks. The results of this test may result in a decrease in rates for some residents. Fire Chief Greg Marlar stated, “There is tremendous value in joining a fire district with a good rating, fire insurance savings in some cases will more than pay for the cost of being a member of the District”.