Lamar Fire/Water/E 9-1-1 Department Receive Insurance Rating


Lamar was just a fraction away from earning a fire/water safety rating that, overall, could have saved city residents a half-million dollars on their insurance premiums.  The door of opportunity hasn’t closed yet, according to Lamar Fire Chief Marshall Cook and Water Director Doug Montgomery.   They explained how the city earned its Public Protection Classification from the state Insurance Service Office.  Cities are judged on three criteria, water service for emergency situations, a general fire department assessment and E-9-1-1 performance. 

Chief Cook said the fire department is assessed on a 1 to 10 scale with 1 being the best rating.  Lamar received a 5, but was a fraction of a percent away from earning a 4 rating.  Out of 100 points, we received a 59.45 score.  Cook said the department has six months to conduct a do-over in those areas that needed improvement.  Improvement is not really the correct explanation as gigs were levied for not having a higher paid staffing level in the department at seven persons, but Cook explained, that was the number they’re budgeted at.  Other deficiencies included the department not having a four-story tall building devoted to fire training, nor did it provide for a burn room to simulate fire and smoke conditions.  Cook said the department might sheetrock a metal Conex storage building to use as a burn room, but he didn’t anticipate the city having a budget to build a four story complex for training.  Councilman Jim Larrick suggested contacting Valco to determine if any of the buildings on their property could work.   

Doug Montgomery said the water department received a 40 rating on its ability to provide water for fire fighting.  The city received 31.99 out of 35 points on distribution and location of fire hydrants.  Those with the most pressure were in the vicinity of the high school.    Regarding the size of the water lines and uniformity of lock nuts on hydrants, the city received 1.88 out of 2 and 1.61 out of 3 on record keeping for hydrant inspections.  Cook said the city was gigged on having only three circuits available for its 800 hertz communication system through which to receive calls.  He added that three was all that was provided to the city when the new system was adopted.    The chief told the council that this was the first inspection in twelve years, but he can show through photographs and documentation that needed upgrades have been performed to achieve a 4 level.  Councilman PJ Wilson said a 4 rating should translate to 10% savings on insurance premiums across the board for the city.  Cook and Montgomery said they would keep the council advised on their progress.

By Russ Baldwin


Filed Under: CitycommunityFeaturedLamarPublic SafetyUtilities


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