~ by Mike Perini ~
Northeast Teller County Fire Protection District (NETCO) was recently assessed by the Insurance Service Office (ISO) to evaluate the fire department’s ability to mitigate the risk that is within the district’s boundaries.
ISO is an independent agency that is used by insurance companies to rate Fire Departments nationwide in order to establish Commercial and Residential Insurance rates for a specific District. The Fire Protection District includes approximately 85 square miles. This evaluation is usually done at a time when ISO feels local conditions have changed and require further analysis.
According to Fire Chief Tyler Lambert,“The last time NETCO had a full evaluation was 2010. The amount of new construction within our District that has taken place since 2010 triggered the most recent evaluation that began in the spring of 2017 and concluded a few weeks ago, and will become effective September 1, 2017.”
NETCO is proud to serve the residents of Northeast Teller
County. We are currently reviewing other funding options as a result of the new ISO ratings.” said Lambert.
The rating criteria are as follows: a rating of Protection Class 1 represents an exemplary fire suppression program and a rating of Protection Class 10 indicates that the fire suppression program does not meet ISO’s minimum criteria. A higher Protection Class number will translate to higher insurance premiums. The three main categories considered are as follows: Fire Department’s capacities and capabilities = 50% of the final score Water supply = 40% of the final score Communication = 10 % of the final score
“Communications and water supply are where NETCO scored well, achieving 80% or above” said Lambert. He continued, “NETCO scored very well in Apparatus, Equipment, Training and Preplanning, but scored 32% in personnel, which is the number of firefighters that are on duty and available to respond to emergency calls.”
How does this relate to the new score? According to Chief Lambert, “it depends on the location of the property”. “If you live within 5 miles of the Firehouse and live less than 1000 feet from an approved water source, your previous rating was a Protection Class 5,” he said. “Now it has improved to a Protection Class 4 due to the great water system that the City of Woodland Park has.” “If you live within 5 miles of the Firehouse and are greater than 1000 feet from an approved water source, your previous Protection Class was an 8B,” he said. “The protection class has declined to a 9 due to the increase in building construction, without the additional revenue to hire the necessary personnel to operate our Water Tender, Engine and Ladder Truck, and in addition to the layoff of personnel that occurred in 2016.”
The number of concurrent (more than one call at a time) calls has exceeded 24% of the total annual call volume. “Such overlapping calls have resulted in limited coverage for the rest of the District,” Lambert said. Citizens that live greater than 5 miles of the Firehouse and greater than 1000 feet from an approved water system are a Protection Class 10.
NETCO’s primary source of funding is property taxes, and is not allowed by law to levy any other forms of taxes.
“NETCO will continue to provide the best professional service we are able, and are proud to serve the residents of Northeast Teller County. We are currently reviewing other funding options as a result of the new ISO ratings,” Lambert said.
Although Insurance Protection Class Ratings will go into effect September 1, property owners can expect to see their Insurance rates impacted upon their Property Insurance renewal.
More information can be found on NETCO’s facebook page (https://www.facebook.com/NE-