Sewickley fire department earns high ranking; could mean lower homeowner insurance
Cochran Hose Company in Sewickley now ranks as one of the best in the country.
After conducting a Public Protection Classification survey, officials from New Jersey-based Insurance Services Office have ranked the department a level 3, an improvement from a score of 5 in 2003.
With that score, the volunteer fire company, which answered 261 fire calls in 2013, ranks among the top 4.6 percent in fire suppression ability.
Fire departments are ranked from 1 to 10, with 1 representing superior property fire protection. Each department is evaluated at least every 10 years.
The improved rating could mean property owners in Sewickley, Edgeworth, Glen Osborne and Haysville could have lower rates on property insurance, including fire insurance, fire Chief Jeff Neff said.
He added that it is difficult to know how much could be saved because every insurance company's policies are different.
ISO is an organization that collects information for insurance companies to help establish appropriate fire insurance premiums for properties.
Property owners in the Cochran Hose service area should check with their insurance carriers about a possible rate reduction, Sewickley Borough Manager Kevin Flannery said.
ISO officials conduct evaluations of departments all over the country, focusing on four aspects of fire suppression — the fire department itself, emergency communications, water supply and the new community risk reduction section that recognizes community efforts to reduce losses through fire prevention, public fire safety education, and fire investigation, according to ISO.
Neff said a 3 is the department's best rating ever and will take effect in April.
“We had expected a 4, so we are really excited,” he said.
The rating provides fire departments with a benchmark and can be used as a tool when planning, budgeting and justifying fire protection improvements, ISO officials stated in a letter sent to the borough and the fire department.
Flannery said while the rating is a “huge honor” for the fire department, it was a joint effort by Sewickley Borough, Sewickley Water Authority and Cochran.
With the rebuilding of Broad Street in 2005, the borough worked with the water authority to install a 1,725-foot, 12-inch waterline, replacing an old, corroded line, he said.
Over the past 10 years, the borough and water authority have replaced fire hydrant couplings to have the same fittings to be able to pump at higher rates.
“This assists in an effective and efficient means to supply water for fire service needs,” Flannery said.
The water authority has rebuilt its distribution and pumping systems, which provide more water with more efficiency throughout the entire system, he said.
The borough always has provided the best in equipment to Cochran, “while balancing the real estate taxes needed,” Flannery said.
Neff said the area's 911 dispatch system through Allegheny County is more efficient than what they used in the past, a high number of the department's 38 active volunteer firemen always respond to fires, and all department personnel receive continual training.
“We want the public to know that their tax dollars that go toward the fire department are well spent,” Neff said.
“They are definitely getting their money's worth.”
Joanne Barron is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. She can be reached at 412-324-1406 or email@example.com.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- Howard Hanna build in Sewickley could begin next month
- Art is for everyone, Sewickley library curator says
- Nominations for Herald honors due by March 6
- Sweetwater curriculum picks up STEAM
- Cherry: Forgetting charger sparks fear of missing out
- Sewickley Academy gym replacement work begins
- Grant helps Sewickley employees analyze their fitness habits
- Hollywood film shoot ‘great exposure’ for Sewickley
- Freedom Singer visits Sewickley Academy