November 24, 2014

Medina
Cloudy
53°F

Fire rank may lower insurance for Medina department

Medina Fire Chief Bob Painter, left, and firefighter Alex Colon review some of the equipment kept on the department’s newest ladder truck. The Fire Department, which serves Montville Township, recently was upgraded to a level 3 insurance ranking. (GAZETTE PHOTO BY PAMELA J. MILLER)

Medina Fire Chief Bob Painter, left, and firefighter Alex Colon review some of the equipment kept on the department’s newest ladder truck. The Fire Department, which serves Montville Township, recently was upgraded to a level 3 insurance ranking. (GAZETTE PHOTO BY PAMELA J. MILLER)

An upgrade in the Medina Fire Department’s insurance class ranking may have the added benefit of saving city and Montville Township residents and businesses a few dollars on their own insurance rates.

The department, which serves Montville Township, has been upgraded to level 3 in the Public Protection Classification Program by ISO, a national analytics company. That rating is mainly used by insurance underwriters when setting rates for personal or commercial property insurance policies.

The fire ranking system is based on a 1-to-10 chart, with 1 being the highest. There are no fire departments in Ohio that have the highest ranking. At level 3, Medina ranks in the top 6 percent of departments in the state, according to information provided by ISO.

Previously, the department was ranked at 5. The new rating takes effect April 1.

“The department has been stagnant in the class 5 ranking for over 15 years,” city Fire Chief Bob Painter said. “Because of improved training, operational standards and dedicated personnel, we have made a two-class improvement. Our hope is that residents and businesses will be able to see a direct benefit from our efforts.”

Painter credits the city’s support as vital in improving the ranking, especially assistance from police Lt. Dave Birckbichler, the Water Department’s Bill Magargee and the city engineering office.

ISO conducted a survey of the city and township fire suppression services last year to determine the new ranking. Painter said that the relocation of the city’s older pumper truck to Montville in fall 2012 played a large role in the determination.

The survey has approximately 100 points that need to be met between each numerical rank, which means a lot of requirements had to be met.

“Everyone had worked hard toward this,” Painter said. “There were a lot of training hours that went into this. The firefighters are dedicated to the community.”

Ten percent of the ranking is a review of the department’s emergency communications, 40 percent is the water supply system and 50 percent is the department itself, including first alarm response, training and equipment.

Contact reporter Pamela J. Miller at (330)-721-4065 or areanews@medina-gazette.com.