Marion's fire rating improves Rating.
Byline: JOHN HOMAN Managing Editor email@example.com
MARION - Much like golf, a low score is preferred when it comes to fire department ratings. And the Marion Fire Department received some outstanding news this week when it learned that the Insurance Service Office (ISO) will lower the city's fire rating from a 4 to a 2, effective June 1.
ISO ratings range from 10-to-1 with 1 being the best. There were times years ago when only one city nationwide ever received a 1 rating.
"It's basically a grading scale on how your department is doing, and it would appear that we are moving in the right direction," said Chief Jerry Odum. "We're very excited about the news. I think it's quite an accomplishment for our guys. It shows the effort they have put
Odum said the department scored high marks in virtually all categories - code enforcement, arson investigation, dispatch center, quality of engines, ladder trucks, reserve trucks, fire safety programs, and training of personnel, but it was the water supply system where the department scored the highest (37 of 40). A total of 28 different hydrants were checked for flow by the ISO representative.
Overall, the department totaled 84.3 points out of a possible 105 to earn the improved rating.
"It all comes down to how well we can provide fire protection," Odum said. "And it would appear that we are doing a pretty good job of that."
Marion Mayor Anthony Rinella, himself a former fire chief, was pleased with the news of the improved fire rating.
"The lower rating will result in a cost savings to Marion residents and businesses," he said. "We are one of only 1,324 municipalities nationwide who currently hold an ISO rating of 2 or lower. In fact, Effingham is believed to be the closest municipality to us that has attained this rating."