As of September 1, 2014 Southlake businesses and residents will begin reaping the benefits of the Fire Departments exceptionally high score and rating they officially received from the Insurance Service Office (ISO) and the State Fire Marshal’s office. The Southlake Fire Department jumped from a “Class 4 to a class 1” – the highest rating possible following a comprehensive audit and evaluation. The ranking is based on a nationwide classification system that reflects the community’s fire protection capability for property insurance rating purposes. This means Southlake residents could see a savings on their insurance premiums of 11% and 13% for Southlake businesses.
Fire Chief Michael Starr and members of the Fire Department, along with Mayor John Terrell, the City Council, and City leadership, received two plaques at the August 19th City Council meeting for recognition of the Fire Department’s distinguished accomplishment. Upon receiving the plaques Chief Starr said, “We are very grateful to be recognized for achieving the highest insurance rating that any Fire Department has received since 1906. We also want to thank Southlake City leaders for their support because we couldn’t have accomplished this goal without them or without the teamwork of our Public Works and Building departments.” Starr added, “Another factor in reaching this goal was the addition of the DPS North facility, which was approved by City Council and the Crime Control and Prevention District board. The new fire station has greatly enhanced our response times for the northern part of the City and allows us to better serve those citizens.”
The first plaque was presented by Philip Bradley, Manager of Community Hazard Mitigation Services, who said, “Out of 47,000 communities only about 62 in the country have achieved this recognition.” And Jesse Williams, the Commissioner of Insurance and State Fire Marshal read from the engraved plaque that he presented at council, “In official recognition of the outstanding dedication and exemplary fire protection service to the community – it is with great honor that I present you with this plaque.” Chief Starr and Mayor John Terrell graciously accepted both plaques with their ‘thanks’ and to much applause from attendees at the City Council meeting including residents and business leaders.
ISO classifies communities based on how well they score on the ISO Fire Suppression Rating Schedule, which grades a community based on several criteria including: its 911 emergency communications capabilities, fire department capabilities, fire service public education programs and evaluation of the Cities water supply. A score of 90 points or more earns a Class 1 designation. Southlake received 97.53 out of 106.5 points to join an elite group of 22 cities in Texas and 62 cities in the nation to hold a Class 1 rating.
Mayor Terrell congratulated everyone for their collaboration and teamwork across the board for making this happen saying, “ This is truly just an amazing accomplishment to not only improve the safety for the City, which is one of our top priorities for the community, but also at the same time we’re doing that – we’re helping to reduce insurance costs for our citizens and business partners and just providing incredible service – hats off to you Chief Starr, your team and also the other departments that shared in making this happen. It’s a great accomplishment!”
The leadership of the City of Southlake, along the Fire Department, is very pleased that this strategic goal was met and that this new ranking will have such a positive impact on residents and businesses in the community.