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Scott Township fire protection gets high rank

| Wednesday, Feb. 6, 2013, 9:03 p.m.

Scott now ranks among the best municipalities in the county in fire response ability, and property owners could see a reduction in fire insurance premiums as a result.

The township received a level 3 classification from the national Insurance Services Office in January as part of the ISO's public protection classification program.

The program looks at a fire district's ability to respond to structure fires by using three components: fire alarm and communication systems, water-supply systems and the fire departments themselves. Each district is graded on a scale of 1 to 10, with 1 representing the top rating.

Just three municipalities in Allegheny County rank as a Class 3 or higher. Scott previously was ranked a Class 5.

“We were really surprised that we went to a 3,” said Tom Salerno, chief of the Glendale Volunteer Fire Department. “We were hoping for a 4, but when we got to a 3, we were ecstatic.”

The township's new rating, which goes into effect in April, came after a five-year improvement effort, said East Carnegie Volunteer Fire Department Chief Adam Kauer. The ISO looks at the fire departments' abilities to respond to fires, including equipment, staffing, training and geographic distribution of companies.

Kauer said the departments focused on getting the proper inspections for equipment and certifications for their firefighters before contacting ISO in early 2012. ISO came to the township in August and notified the departments of their new classification in January.

“That's pretty exciting for us,” said John Levi, Bower Hill Volunteer Fire Department chief. “It's a great standard to be compared to. We felt like we've really worked hard to get to this level.”

ISO's ratings can affect insurance premiums for property owners in the municipality. Generally, the price of property insurance is lower in communities with a good PPC rating.

“It's certainly not guaranteed in all cases across the board, but it is something that will definitely be a reduction in premiums,” Levi said.

The township's board of commissioners recognized the three fire departments and their chiefs at its meeting Jan. 22.

“You've done a remarkable job,” President Thomas Castello said. “We commend you.”

Bids awarded for park improvements

The board of commissioners approved contracts for improvements at Meadowlark and Larsen parks to the apparent low bidders on Jan. 22.

Larsen Park work will include the installation of a playground with a rubberized safety surface and the construction of a parking area. Meadowlark Park work includes the installation of a rubberized play surface.

Work should begin at the parks in March, with an expected end date toward the end of spring or beginning of summer, manager Denise Fitzgerald said.

McElroy Paving Company was awarded the parking lot contract, while Excaliber Construction was awarded contracts for the play surface at both parks and playground equipment at Larsen Park.

Bids totaled $87,839.50. The township received a grant to fund 50 percent of the project from Pennsylvania's Department of Conservation and Natural Resources in December 2011.

Doug Gulasy is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 412-380-8527 or dgulasy@tribweb.com.

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