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  1. #1
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    Default Origin of the 5 mile rule on fire station placement

    Was talking with a Chief the other day the topic of the ISO 5 mile rule in rural fire station placment. Does anyone know its origin?

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    How far a team at gallop can pull a steamer before they keel over?

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    Quote Originally Posted by neiowa View Post
    How far a team at gallop can pull a steamer before they keel over?
    Man that was quick....

    But you have to admit it is kinda strange to use as a measuring stick for ability to provide service in the event of 1000 gallon pumpers and what not tha we have today. with over 24 yrs in the service I had not really give that much thought to the 5 mile rule and where it actually came from.
    Am I being effective in my efforts or am I merely showing up in my fireman costume to watch a house burn down?” (Joe Brown, www.justlookingbusy.wordpress.com)

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    MembersZone Subscriber tree68's Avatar
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    I was talking about fire station spacing with my son a while back - he indicated that in his area the spacing is closer to 9 miles.

    Around here it's more like 7 or so, and that's based more on where population centers are located than any specific planning.
    Opinions my own. Standard disclaimers apply.

    Everyone goes home. Safety begins with you.

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    Forum Member DeputyMarshal's Avatar
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    What "5 mile rule" are you referring to?

    The last time I looked ISO wanted the first due engine within 1.5 miles (3.2 minutes of travel time at the standard 35 mph estimate) and 2.5 miles for the nearest truck company.

    For comparison, NFPA 1710 allows a more generous 4 minute travel time for the first due company and 8 minutes for a full assignment.
    "Nemo Plus Voluptatis Quam Nos Habant"

    The Code is more what you'd call "guidelines" than actual rules.

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    In the rural setting there is a 5 mile rural that insurance companies use to base policy charges on. If a dept has the required equipment and can do a tak list (pumping, water supple, etc) here it goes from a protection class 10 (the worst) to a class 9. If you have a hydrant within 1000 ft of your home adds to the class. For instance a 9/7 means there is a fire department within 5 miles and there is a hydrant within 100 ft. Improved water, equipment, pre-planning, dispatch, training (and facilities) all add up to improve the ISO rating and therefore drop the class listing. Anyone outside the 5 miles is out of luck.
    Am I being effective in my efforts or am I merely showing up in my fireman costume to watch a house burn down?” (Joe Brown, www.justlookingbusy.wordpress.com)

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    Quote Originally Posted by Capt387 View Post
    In the rural setting there is a 5 mile rural that insurance companies use to base policy charges on. If a dept has the required equipment and can do a tak list (pumping, water supple, etc) here it goes from a protection class 10 (the worst) to a class 9. If you have a hydrant within 1000 ft of your home adds to the class. For instance a 9/7 means there is a fire department within 5 miles and there is a hydrant within 100 ft. Improved water, equipment, pre-planning, dispatch, training (and facilities) all add up to improve the ISO rating and therefore drop the class listing. Anyone outside the 5 miles is out of luck.
    NOT EXACTLY. Outside of 5 mi you PAY more. Depending on area,equipment,water sources and dispatch your results MAY vary.Nee as long as you have a Dept within 10 miles you're a 9. T.c.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Rescue101 View Post
    NOT EXACTLY. Outside of 5 mi you PAY more. Depending on area,equipment,water sources and dispatch your results MAY vary.Nee as long as you have a Dept within 10 miles you're a 9. T.c.
    In Ky it is 5 miles. Anything greater than 5 you are a 10. we have areas in my own county like most in initially setting up the department they used the community location to set up when you look at the 5 mile deal there are some stations that have anywhere from a 1/2 mile to a 1.5 mile gap.

    COpied from the following site:

    http://www.isopropertyresources.com/...pril-2005.html


    CLASSIFICATION OF PUBLIC FIRE PROTECTION (PPC)

    For jurisdictions listed with a single classification number, all properties within the jurisdiction should receive the listed classification number.
    For jurisdictions listed with multiple classification numbers (e.g., 6/9), known as a "split classification," the classification number applicable to individual properties is determined as follows:
    Split classification shown as "X/9" or "X/8B" (e.g., 6/9 or 6/8B):
    For properties located five road miles or less from a responding fire station of a designated recognized fire department indicated in the listing for the jurisdiction, and within 1,000 feet of a fire hydrant, the first listed classification number applies (e.g., 6/9, use Class 6).
    For properties located five road miles or less from a responding fire station of a designated recognized fire department indicated in the listing for the jurisdiction, and with a fire hydrant more than 1,000 feet, Class 9 or Class 8B applies.
    For properties not qualifying as listed above, Class 10 applies.
    Split classifications displayed as "X/10" where no hydrants are installed (e.g., 9/10) or where hydrant distance does not apply due to an alternate creditable water supply (e.g., 7/10):
    For properties located within five road miles or less (unless otherwise indicated in the footnote) from a responding fire station of a designated recognized fire department indicated in the listing for the jurisdiction, the first listed classification applies (e.g., 7/10, use Class 7).
    For properties not qualifying as listed above, Class 10 applies.
    For jurisdictions or areas not listed, Class 10 applies.
    Am I being effective in my efforts or am I merely showing up in my fireman costume to watch a house burn down?” (Joe Brown, www.justlookingbusy.wordpress.com)

  9. #9
    55 Years & Still Rolling hwoods's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Capt387 View Post
    In Ky it is 5 miles. For properties located five road miles or less from a responding fire station of a designated recognized fire department indicated in the listing for the jurisdiction, and with a fire hydrant more than 1,000 feet, Class 9 or Class 8B applies.

    As I read This, If you are within 5 miles of a Fire Station you get a 9...... Even though your nearest Hydrant is in New Jersey........
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    Quote Originally Posted by hwoods View Post
    As I read This, If you are within 5 miles of a Fire Station you get a 9...... Even though your nearest Hydrant is in New Jersey........
    Totally correct. Those of us that wonder what that mystical "hydrant" is are still able to drop our ISO with water shuttle however.

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    MembersZone Subscriber LVFD301's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rescue101 View Post
    NOT EXACTLY. Outside of 5 mi you PAY more. Depending on area,equipment,water sources and dispatch your results MAY vary.Nee as long as you have a Dept within 10 miles you're a 9. T.c.
    I am going to climb out on a limb and say in most states it is 5 miles, over 5 miles you go to a 10.

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    Quote Originally Posted by LVFD301 View Post
    I am going to climb out on a limb and say in most states it is 5 miles, over 5 miles you go to a 10.
    What I copied above was the first thing I found on the ISO site that stated 5 miles or less, hydrant credits and what not.
    Am I being effective in my efforts or am I merely showing up in my fireman costume to watch a house burn down?” (Joe Brown, www.justlookingbusy.wordpress.com)

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by Capt387 View Post
    What I copied above was the first thing I found on the ISO site that stated 5 miles or less, hydrant credits and what not.
    Yep, but some states have an impact - such as the Western states 8 rating, or states like TX that mandate ISO credit for CAFS.

    Hopefully that credit for CAFS will be nationwide soon.

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    Quote Originally Posted by hwoods View Post
    As I read This, If you are within 5 miles of a Fire Station you get a 9...... Even though your nearest Hydrant is in New Jersey........
    I could see that, with the way houses are built now. Most places if your hydrants are way out, your FD will have 1000+ gal tanks on the engines. If they can't stop it with that, dont matter how far away a plug is, that house is getting torn down and rebuilt.

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    nice... I'm a 9 throughout but I bring to the party: 3000' 4"LDH, 1,000 / 1,000 pumper, 1,250 / 1,000 pumper and a 1,500 water tender on the first assignment. If I have something, I'm calling my mutual aid tankers; 1,5000, 2,000, 3,000 and 5,000 gallons. We don't have hydrants, we're completly rural (with a total fire district of 10 square miles; no stoplights and a total of 6 stop signs!) with cisterns, ponds, creeks and the Hudson river as water sources...

    Gotta work on upping my rating someday...

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    I dont buy into the hydrant theory. I have been to a fire with green top hydrants around the block and we set up drafting sites in a nearby river,as to not put a undue strain on the small water system and still managed to wash off the foundation at the the end of the day. I have put fires out with less then a 1000 gallons with 8-12 min responce time ( volly) with no hydrants for miles. Around here we had two fire stations burn up with hydrants next to them this past year with them being staffed. Hmmm seams like there are more factors then location location location

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    Quote Originally Posted by medic190 View Post
    nice... I'm a 9 throughout but I bring to the party: 3000' 4"LDH, 1,000 / 1,000 pumper, 1,250 / 1,000 pumper and a 1,500 water tender on the first assignment. If I have something, I'm calling my mutual aid tankers; 1,5000, 2,000, 3,000 and 5,000 gallons. We don't have hydrants, we're completly rural (with a total fire district of 10 square miles; no stoplights and a total of 6 stop signs!) with cisterns, ponds, creeks and the Hudson river as water sources...

    Gotta work on upping my rating someday...
    Why wait for someday?

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    Point to remember here.... the 5 miles is by road, not as the crow flys... or in ISO language, "As hose can be laid"

  19. #19
    55 Years & Still Rolling hwoods's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by medic190 View Post
    nice... If I have something, I'm calling my mutual aid tankers; 1,5000, 2,000, 3,000 and........

    Could you post a Photo of that 15000 Gallon Tanker Please??..... Inquiring minds want to know..............


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  20. #20
    55 Years & Still Rolling hwoods's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Seagravesstick View Post
    Point to remember here.... the 5 miles is by road, not as the crow flys... or in ISO language, "As hose can be laid"

    So, You haven't seen my Hose Laying Helicopter???...........
    Never use Force! Get a Bigger Hammer.
    In memory of
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    Asst. Chief John R. Woods Sr. 1937 - 2006

    IACOJ Budget Analyst

    I Refuse to be a Spectator. If I come to the Game, I'm Playing.

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