More than a year after former fire chief Jim Bombace expressed concern that the , village officials reported attaining a fire safety rating among the best in the country. And the new designation will save villagers money.
According to Chief Jim Van Goor, the career department recently applied for a new review from the Insurance Services Office (ISO), which measures the department's ability to fight fires, along with training and key inspections.
The new rating found that changes made by the department – in conjunction with work from officials in Central Dispatch and Ridgewood Water – have bumped the ISO rating from three to two, one of only eleven departments with the same or better score (one being the best, ten the worst).
Bombace had in early 2011 approached the council claiming tests demonstrated that a large fire at the high school could not be fought adequately because of low pressure at the hydrants on premises. Those , officials later concluded.
According to Van Goor, the savings from a better rating will lighten merchants pockets on average about $230. He did not immediately have figures as to savings for residential homeowners.
Residents and council members congratulated Van Goor for the updated rating, remarking that there is a "peace of mind" for residents and a financial benefit to boot. The ratings go into effect in September.
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