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Better Fire Safety Rating Will Save Villagers Cash

Ridgewood Fire Department's public protection rating upgraded.

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.

Have a question or news tip? Contact editor James Kleimann at James.Kleimann@patch.com, or find us on Facebook and Twitter. For news straight to your inbox every morning, sign up for our daily newsletter.

RdgwdGRock August 02, 2012 at 03:46 PM
who did the testing that resulted in the 3 rating? if an independent vendor, can action be pursued against them? when will be ever increasing prop taxes go down? by the way, I know from living elsewhere, if the fire trucks roll on-scene and if the best available water source is a pool, stream, pond/lake, they use the water from there. so, the HHK brook is next to the school.
Boyd A. Loving August 02, 2012 at 03:57 PM
Add top notch fire protection services to the long list of great things about living in the Village of Ridgewood.
James Bombace August 02, 2012 at 10:40 PM
Interesting that it took this long for this to be announced since I worked on this and received confirmation of this from ISO that the tests were completed in November 2011 as the emails below show: From: ccjim 209 [mailto:ccjim209@hotmail.com] Sent: Saturday, November 05, 2011 6:13 PM To: Zampella , Anthony Jr. Subject: RE: Fire Flow Test For The Village of Ridgewood Hello Tony, I just wanted to follow up on the progress of the re-testing the fire hydrants for the Village of Ridgewood. Has this been completed or scheduled yet. I appreciate your letting me know. James Bombace, Chief (Retired) 686 Midwood Road Ridgewood, New Jersey Subject: RE: Fire Flow Test For The Village of Ridgewood Date: Sun, 6 Nov 2011 08:42:00 -0500 From: AZampella@iso.com To: ccjim209@hotmail.com Good Morning Jim, All flow tests have been completed and our records updated. Detailed test results are on file with the fire and water departments. Hope this assists you. Good Luck. Tony
Dave August 03, 2012 at 03:16 AM
James Bombace Retired, You retired in May 2010, the ISO was a class 3. The application to improve the rating was done a year after you were gone. Your e mail from Tony was stating that the town completed its flow testing and it had nothing to do with you. You were Chief for 10 years and it was a class 3, 2 years after your retire it is a class 2.
James Bombace August 03, 2012 at 03:27 AM
FYI Dave I continued to follow up on this matter even after I retired. I spoke at council meetings about the flow rates that were conducted in the first test that showed an inadaquate amount of water for firefighting and communicated with the ISO to ask that another test be conducted. I have the emails to Mayor Killion and the ISO if you would like a copy of them just send me an email.
Dave August 03, 2012 at 03:54 AM
All I know is 10 years that you were chief, the fire dept.was a class 3, that's right 10 years. 2 years after you RETIRE, now a class 2. The new fire chief deserves all the credit
James Bombace August 03, 2012 at 04:46 AM
Ok Skobie, Your right you don't know what your talking about.
Long Time Resident August 03, 2012 at 04:04 PM
Looks like the nut job blog (aka The Ridgewood Blog) has been keeping tabs on this blog. Now they are trying to make news about articles on this blog. How low can they go....apparently very low!

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