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Woodlands Fire Department nabs top ISO rating once again

July 28, 2018

The Woodlands Fire Department recently received an insurance service office rating of 1, highest possible, again this year, Fire Chief Alan Benson reported during the July 19 meeting of The Woodlands Township board of directors.

“I feel confident that we’ll be able to hold that rating for a minimum of 10 years,” Benson said. “That’s an excellent standard across the country.”

In a July 27 interview, Deputy Fire Chief Doug Adams of The Woodlands Fire Department, said everyone at the department — which has more than 100 staff members — was excited about the latest rating.

“We’re one of the few departments that have gotten that high rating,” Adams said of the ISO 1 designation. “It was a year-long process. It was a group effort — everyone at the department, the township and others — was involved.”

ISO ratings range from 1 to 10, with 1 being the best.

In 2018, of the communities evaluated by ISO only 97 out of 48,855 in North America achieved this prestigious rating, Benson wrote in a report to the township board. the ISO 1 rating was first awarded to the township fire department on May 1, 2014.

“In 2014, the township scored 91.07 to obtain the Public Protection Class or ISO rating of one. Ninety points are necessary to achieve this rating,” Benson’s report stated. “On June 11, 2018, the township received notification from the Texas State Fire Marshal’s Office of our new reevaluation score, 99.45. The Insurance Services Office is recommending the classification of ISO 1 continue with an effective date of Nov. 1, 2018.”

Benson’s report explained that a community’s ISO rating is critical for both residential and commercial property owners for the simple fact that insurance premium rates are directly affected by the rating. Some factors that go into the ISO rating include how many firefighters man each fire truck on calls, various departmental specifics, the available amount of water that can be used to fight fires and other elements.

“(ISO rating) is also a key component for corporations considering relocation to The Woodlands,” Benson’s report continued. “Our community will continue to enjoy the distinction of ISO 1 for the unforeseeable future knowing it is one of the safest communities in America.”

During the July 19 meeting, township board Chairman Gordy Bunch offered his congratulations to Benson and the department as a whole.

“Chief, congratulations, that is exceptional,” Bunch said. “To make an improvement on already a top rating shows a commitment to constantly reviewing and improving what we have in place.”

— Portions of this article were derived from a background report from Chief Alan Benson that was presented to The Woodlands Township Board of Directors.

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