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  1. #1
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    Question ISO Consultant ?

    This may be the wrong forum and if so maybe one of the veterans can point me elsewhere.
    Has anyone ever used, hired, talked to, whatever - an ISO consultant ? Is there such a thing for small VFDs or local associations to use? I have received the info that ISO Slayer puts out, but it might be better for us to face-to-face with someone that has been there more than the rest of us around our neck of the woods. (No offense intended to ISO Slayer, very informative stuff) Our county assoc. talks about ISO and has loose AMA agreements, but as I read the ISO info, we should all be able to qualify for better than the 9 that all 14 depts have. Everybody seems a bit daunted by the ISO man.
    Any thoughts from those that have more experience than this three year old department will be appreciated.


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    Try calling the ISO office near you. We had an ISO audit 2 years ago. The people at ISO were very helpful with information and suggestions. When I spoke to the auditor, he stated that ISO is trying to build relations with the fire service.

    If you choose to use someone's advice, be very careful. Our auditor told of several occasions where departments spent a lot of money on things that would not help them.

    Just a few of the basics, anything more than 5 miles via roads from your station is class 10. You are class 9 unless you can move at least 250 gallons per minute for 2 hours without running out of water. If you have some hydrants, you may get a split rating like ours. Moving water is a where we get hung up. Our rating is a 7/9.

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    ISO can send you a packet of information on what you will have to do in a review to better your classification. It is pretty cut and dried. I would think your money would be better spent buying a few of the items you need to gain some points rather than spending it on someone who will tell you to buy some of the things you need to gain points. The three main areas to work on are water, water and water....OK, the other two are training and communications. Just going from firephones to E911 dispatching with pagers helped us tremendously in going from a 7 to a 6, but so did a few water projects that upgraded our town's water flow. Based on the fact that you mentioned every department is a 9, I'm assuming you have no municipal water supply...so get your mutual aid agreements in order and in writing. If you don't utilize them, well, that's another story...but at least have them in writing and on file.

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    Forum Member CFD14EMT's Avatar
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    What's up? No one out there is going to recommend LHS at www.isoslayer.com ??? Give ole Larry a call, he'll fix ya'll right up.

    Seriously though, I can't beleive I did that. Too much firehouse coffee I guess.
    MGB&KY&Y-FDNY 9/11/01

  5. #5
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    Default Re: ISO Consultant ?

    Originally posted by thoskin

    (No offense intended to ISO Slayer, very informative stuff)
    CFD14, he already read Larry's fine piece of literature.

  6. #6
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    Seeing as how everyone here is name dropping, let me drop a few. And use some facts as well.
    ISO consultants? No ISO doesn’t have consultants. In fact, ISO gives pretty bad advice sometimes. Would you like some examples in print? According to the Rating Schedule it says you need three 500 watt floodlights on a service or ladder company. So you go buy 3 – 500 watt or larger pole lights, OR a 9000 watt light mast and two fixed 2000 watt floods, you get full credit, right? NO! You get nothing. The lights have to be portable. So go right ahead like everyone says and follow ISO’s written advice.
    On a pumper is says 400 feet of 1 ½” carried. So you throw 400 to 10,000 feet on the rig, do you get full credit? NO! It has to be preconnected. Go ahead follow their advice, pretty self explanatory isn’t it?
    You need a hose jacket, right? NO! Says you do on the list but you really don’t.
    I buy a brand new fully certified and fully ISO equipped ladder truck I get full credit right? NO!
    50 volunteers respond on every structure fire call directly to the station I get full credit for all 50 right? NO! You don’t get credit for any of them. Just on of 100’s of items not in the Schedule, so go right ahead and follow it, it is really simple.
    You have written pre-fire plans for every building in the district that is not a single family home, you have current drawings, and everyone in the department has access to them and you have every member go through each building twice a year. Do you get full credit? NO! Go ahead and wing the test! It is so easy the average hydranted community in the U.S. has a Class 7.1 and the average rural water grade is a Class 8.99. It can’t be too tough.
    The schedule is full of lies.
    So go ahead and take the advice two people on these posts has offered so far and just use the packet ISO sends you. The average ISO grade in the U.S. is only worth $465 per household per year. Heck the average volunteer fire department in the U.S. gets $35 per person for fire protection and the average career department $112. It’s only money.
    You say, Everybody seems a bit daunted by the ISO man. Maybe that is because they hand out a 48 page rating schedule and don’t hand out the 800 pages that tells you how it is interpreted. You can’t even buy that part of the schedule. So go ahead and wing it.
    First rule of advice for someone who has been through this twice, don’t take advice from departments with Class 9’s. You wouldn’t go look for a doctor who got all F’s, or send you child to a school with a GPA average of 0.40 out of 4.00 would you?
    So far all the posters on this thread have Class 9’s. Another interesting factor, none of them have ever used the service they are bad mouthing, very typical in the fire service. So they don’t know and their ISO grades seem to indicate they are clueless.
    Listen to their advice: “anything more than 5 miles via roads from your station is class 10.” If you open that book you say you have you will see it depends on the state you are in. Is that the kind of advice you are looking for?
    “You are class 9 unless you can move at least 250 gallons per minute for 2 hours without running out of water.” That is not true anywhere in the country. 200 gpm for 20 minutes is the standard for a Class 8b nationwide. Just more bad advice.
    “If you have some hydrants, you may get a split rating like ours. Moving water is where we got hung up. Our rating is a 7/9” A class 7 is the worst possible grade with hydrants you can have so the advice came from a department with the two worst grades possible and still have a fire department. A Class 7 is a 30% score on the test, lol! A Class 9 is a whopping 10%!

    “Just going from fire phones to E911 dispatching with pagers helped us tremendously in going from a 7 to a 6.” That is simply not possible or true! Each class is 10 points, fire phones and E911 have the same value so you couldn’t have gained any points that way.

    “The information on what you will have to do in a review to better your classification. It is pretty cut and dried.” Like flood lights, hose jackets, nozzles, ladders, etc??? The water points you couldn’t figure out.

    “I would think your money would be better spent buying a few of the items you need to gain some points rather than spending it on someone who will tell you to buy some of the things you need to gain points.” Of course that is coming from someone who admits he only scored 40 out of a test with 100 possible. If it was so easy, cut and dried why did he score 40%? The slayer lists 27 FD’s WITHOUT fire hydrants with grades Class 5 or better and this guy posting advice has hydrants. Can you image what he could accomplish with some real knowledge?

    All these matter of fact statements, “Moving water is where we got hung up.” “It is pretty cut and dried.” “I would think your money would be better spent buying a few of the items you need to gain some points rather than spending it on someone who will tell you to buy some of the things you need to gain points.” ISO will send you, “The information on what you will have to do in a review to better your classification. So how was it possible you got hung up with water if it was so cut and dried and they told you everything you needed to know? Gee, Spring, Texas proved they could move 12,000 without hydrants, Magnolia 4000, Crosby 5000, Tomball 4000, and Fallon 4000. As the lone firefighter in Magnolia will tell you who performed their rural water supply evolution you have to know what you are doing and it is not in anything ISO writes. But I guess you know that now looking at the Class 7 and 9 grade and your, “Moving water is where we got hung up.” Statement, LOL

    Are you saying that you tried for a Class 9? You tried for a Class 7?

    You want your public to pay 60 to 300% more for fire insurance than they should because the, “your money would be better spent buying a few of the items you need to gain some points rather than spending it on someone who will tell you to buy some of the things you need to gain points.”?????

    If this gaining points was so easy why didn’t you gain them?

    The above poster seems to think you spend money and buy points. Dolores, Colorado invested $1500 in consulting, got $15,000 in fire equipment from outside their taxing authority and their grade dropped 7 Classes district wide 400 square miles without hydrants. So what things do you buy to drop 70 points in your rating? Where in the grading schedule does it spell out how to quadruple your budget too?

    If that “someone” came to your fire board or council and got them to allow you to go to bond, to a vote of the people or whatever and t ride of all your gasoline powered stick shift trucks and you got 10 un-budgeted new trucks, all new loose equipment and a 3 million dollar fire station … oh like Grand Lake, CO, would you think you got your $4500 worth?

    Or Berthod, CO’s investment of $4500 got 6 rigs, a station and doubled their staffing, where is that in the rating schedule? Where do you follow that advice? Their neighbor Loveland doubled the size of their tanker fleet at a fire board meeting when purchasing apparatus was not even on the agenda.

    Or Annaville, TX a station and only 9 rigs ($6 million worth), or Magnolia just 13 rigs, or Seabrook just $6.7 million, Spring only 13 rigs ($7 million worth).

    Or say, Kingston, NV; Polaris, MT; or Squaw, OR last year all got fully equipped fire trucks and didn’t spend a dime for the consulting services. They got the fully equipped Saulsbury’s and Ferrara fire trucks for them. Where is that in the schedule?

    Did you stumble across $40 million dollars from a non-fire account and increase your staffing by 210 a shift? And make one ¼ of your rigs CAFS. Maybe that is why people bring in consultants with great track records.

    What is funny you all seem to think you know what this guy does, but tell the truth, you never seen him work, never met him, and have no experience in the topic that is worth sharing. How did he get almost half the Class 1’s in the U.S., if it is so easy? Why aren’t there more? 24 of the 40 ISO Class one departments were given over a decade ago. Leaving just 16.

    One guy writes, “so get your mutual aid agreements in order and in writing.” Mutual aid does not count with ISO but it sure sounds nice.

    The post from Westchester County ,NY is the funniest, the original poster with 14 – Class 9’s obviously needs some rural water supply help. Westchester County, NY is 100% Class 9 and 10 for all properties 1000 feet from a fire hydrant. In others words they have never been given alternative water supply credit. So what do they have to offer?

    You ask is there are there consultants for small VFDs or local associations to use? Dozens, ISO posts:
    "Choose Your Consultants Carefully"

    "Community officials seeking help from consultants should be aware that ISO has not authorized any consultants to speak on its behalf.

    "To community officials seeking additional consultant advice to help improve their emergency services management, ISO recommends the following:

    Verify that the consultant:
     Has satisfied expectation of previous community clients


    ISOSLAYER’s bio lists:
    Notable Grades:
    The biggest and smallest towns in the U.S. Class 1’s.
    Best ISO Grade in the U.S, 9 times.
    The highest score ever attained 97.01 points.
    Best paid department ISO grade in the U.S, 8 times.
    Best combination fire department ISO grade in the U.S.
    Best volunteer department ISO grade in the U.S, 8 times.
    Best ISO rural water supply grade in the U.S, 12 times.
    Best ISO hose lay grade in the U.S, 8 times.
    Best ISO tanker shuttle grade in the U.S, 8 times.
    Best largest city ISO grade in the U.S, 3 times.
    Best smallest town ISO grade in the U.S, 4 times.
    First and only volunteer department ISO Class 1’s in the U.S, three times.
    First and only combination department ISO Class 1’s, 3 times.
    Best ISO grade in Arizona, Nevada, Oregon, Texas, Florida, Louisiana, and New Mexico.
    Best paid department ISO grade in Arizona, Nevada, Texas, Florida, Louisiana, and New Mexico.
    Best volunteer department ISO grade in Nevada, Oregon, Colorado, Texas,
    Pennsylvania, and North Carolina,
    Best Combination department ISO grade in Texas and Arizona.
    Best rural ISO water supply grades in Arizona, Nevada, Texas, Colorado, California,
    New Mexico, North Carolina, West Virginia and Virginia.
    Largest class drop in ISO history 3 times, 8 classes at one time; 7 classes at once, 3 times; 6 classes at one time, 4 times; 5 classes at one time, 4 times; and 4 classes at one time 3 times.
    Largest class drop to a Class 1, 8 class drop once, 6 classes three times and 5 classes twice and four classes once.
    27 of the top 30 rural water supply grades in the country (All Class 5 or better),


    He posts detailed references with phone numbers and Email addresses, newpaper accounts, community press releases, city council minutes, etc. And the above more than shows he accomplishes what he sets out to do. Sounds as though that meets ISO official test of performance “of past clients.”

    The above list seems to answer your question, “Has anyone ever used, hired, talked to, whatever - an ISO consultant”

    You said you have the book the Slayer puts out, have you talked with him about coming out and consulting your department? A Class 9 means you are not doing a thing for you community except wasting taxpayers money. I bet you will find you are wasting more money staying a Class 9 than what it would take to fix it. Probably 15 or 20 times more!

    Oh, come on down the 16th to Tomball, TX and meet Mr. Stevens and all the gang from ISO, as ISO presents our volunteer fire department with our Class 1 city and Class 2 - 70 square mile rural area (no hydrants). Yeah we had a Class 9/10 before. Oh by the way, those are the two best grades in the U.S. Ever have your city council give you a 1.25 million dollar heavy rescue just to say thanks?

    I can only relate to you consulting wise what I know. Prior to his coming to Texas the total number of Class 1’s in 90 years of ratings was, ZERO. I personally know of 6 places here in Texas that hired the Slayer. There grades are:

    Houston formerly Class 3 and a 9 and a 10 now a Class 1 everywhere, the largest FD with a Class 1 in population and area (670 sq miles) in the United States.

    Frisco, Texas formerly a Class 5 now a Class 1.

    Wylie, formerly a Class 6 now a Class 1.

    Stafford, formerly two Class 6 towns, and a Class 9 and 10 district, today a Class 2 everywhere. Same as Chicago, Los Angeles and Phoenix

    Magnolia, formerly a Class 7 town and a Class 9 and 10 rural area without fire hydrants (300 sq mi) now a Class 3 district wide, the same grade as Philadelphia and San Antonio Fire Department. There grade was better than Houston for a while.

    Crosby Class 9/10 district now a Class 4 (220 sq mi) without hydrants that is the same grade as Corpus Christi, Fort Worth, LA County, all of Montgomery and Prince George’s County Maryland and New York City.

    Of course if you look at his own volunteer fire department it is the first Class 1 in the U.S. and up until Wednesday had the best rural water supply score as well, with a Class 3. You can also see Dolores Co formerly Class 7/9/10 now Class 3 no hydrants for (400 square miles), Beatty NV formerly a 6/9 now 4 no hydrants. Rattlesnake CO was a 9/10 now a 5 district wide. Best grade in what 13 states? He just must be lucky.

    Any of you want to compare your grades up to those? And tell us there isn’t a value in a consultant? What other consultant can post anything close to these results?

    Of the six fire departments who have used him locally he has helped them and some of my other neighbors around here get the funding for the following number of fire trucks:27, 205, 13, 13, 9, 17, 5, 18, 6, 10, 4, 3, 3, 2. Plus stations, staffing, all new equipment, something in order of 3 million in grants, land, 170 some imagers, automatic accountability systems, etc. I wonder if ISO will do that for you?

    Personally, in the last three years he has helped me get a $50,000 increase in pay, 13 new fully equipped trucks at one department and 9 at the other and a station. In addition, he helped us increase our budget by 350%, get 79% of the population to vote for it, and advanced this place light years technology and training wise. What’s more we are a very much improved organization. We scored better in water with shuttles, tankers, hose lays and draft points than the Houston Fire Department.

    Most ISO grades should be viewed as an embarrassment. You get what you pay for, or simply read the free book and do it your self.

    Got any questions, email me.

    Chiefmikec@aol.com

  7. #7
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    I stand corrected.

    Thoskin,
    You better ask Mike.

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    I'd like to argue a few points about E911 and mutual aid agreements not making a difference, but ya know....it ain't worth it. And who would listen to someone who can only score 40 out of 100 on that silly test anyway? And to think I do this for free....

  9. #9
    Forum Member FyredUp's Avatar
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    I hate to argue with chiefmike but heck I will anyways.

    I may be nothing more than a hick chief from small town Wisconsin, but we improved our ISO rating from a 7 to a 5. How did we do it? By following the ISO grading book, using the suitable substitue list, asking questions prior to the ISO representative coming out to our station, buying a few pieces of equipment, buying some additional training materials, having our documentation in order, and by having the water department make a few procedural changes. We missed becoming a 4 by just a few points. We will be that or better next time.

    We sent letters out to all of our residents about the ISO grade improvement. To be honest very few insurance companies in this area actually even use the ISO schedule anymore. For me personally and a few residents who contacted me the savings ranged from $96 to around $120.

    I too read Larry's "book" on ISO. Some good info...

    Be prepared and do not expect the ISO grader to know everything about the grading schedule or suitable substitutes.

    I am relatively sure this will not be impressive enough to not justify hiring a consultant. But I think it shows improvements can be made as long as you are prepared.

    Take care all and stay safe,

    FyredUp
    Last edited by FyredUp; 04-16-2003 at 01:08 AM.

  10. #10
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    I'd like to argue a few points about E911 and mutual aid agreements not making a difference, but ya know....it ain't worth it. And who would listen to someone who can only score 40 out of 100 on that silly test anyway? And to think I do this for free....

    Scoring 40% and calling the test silly is what school kids do! You had to take the same test everyone else did, you simply did really bad. Doing it for free is no excuse either, today when ISO gave the Class 1 and Class 2 rating it was to a VOLUNTEER fire department. The fire doesn’t care if you are paid or volunteer.

    There is nothing to argue.

    MUTUAL AID: ISO says, “Automatic aid is assistance dispatched automatically by contractual agreement between two communities or fire districts. That differs from mutual aid, or assistance arranged case by case. ISO will recognize an automatic aid plan under the following conditions:

    It must be prearranged for first-alarm response according to a definite plan.

    It is preferable to have a written agreement, but ISO may recognize demonstrated performance.

    The aid must offset a need in the community ISO is surveying. For example, if a community needs a ladder company and the fire department does not have one, but a neighboring community's ladder company responds by automatic aid agreement, credit may be available. The aiding ladder company must cover at least 50% of the needed ladder company Standard Response District by hydrant count in the community being graded. “

    See, mutual aid does not count, just more bad advice, automatic aid first alarm counts only if the vehicle is needed.

    A bit later in the schedule mutual aid staffing is called out as not counting either.

    E911: “A community's PPC depends on: fire alarm and communication systems, including telephone systems, telephone lines, staffing, and dispatching systems “

    Dang no mention of E911, it isn’t a question, it isn’t in the Rating Schedule. So what is to argue?

    Do they want to see your phone book listings? Yes, how many dispatchers or proof of call handling time? Yes. Do you test your generator? Do they want to see if you have single or multiple circuits? Yes? Recorders, supervision, monitoring, etc? Yes. Phone circuit versus E-911 equaling a Class change? Not in this t lifetime!

    I hate to argue with chiefmike but heck I will anyways.

    “I may be nothing more than a hick chief from small town Wisconsin” so you say. “but we improved our ISO rating from a 7 to a 5.” You tried for a Class 5? On purpose? “How did we do it?”, by scoring just 50% on the test that is how. “By following the ISO grading book, using the suitable substitue list,”, you mean by following the half you wanted to follow. “asking questions prior to the ISO representative coming out to our station”, so you just asked half the right questions? “buying a few pieces of equipment”, what 50% didn’t you buy? , “buying some additional training materials” that was silly you can score 90% without having any training materials. “having our documentation in order” silly again you can score 90% having no written records. “by having the water department make a few procedural changes.”, so all of that to score 50%? “We missed becoming a 4 by just a few points.”, how could you miss if you “asked questions”, “followed the book”, “used the substitution list”, etc? “We will be that or better next time.”, why next time?

    Funny isn’t it? Say you “followed the book”, don’t you get 10 points in dispatch? Now all you need is 40 points to get your Class 5. So if you followed the “book on equipment” you get another 26 points. So you need what, 14 points. So you did score points in staffing and you bragged about training so you must have gotten at least 10 points their so all you needed was what 4 points in water. And you only scored a Class 5?

    I think you needed a professional, because anyone can stumble into a Class 5. SO what is the other part of your grade, a Class 9 right?

    “savings ranged from $96 to around $120.” And for that savings you couldn’t get a better grade?

    “Be prepared and do not expect the ISO grader to know everything about the grading schedule or suitable substitutes.” And that is the guy you asked your questions too, the guy who doesn’t know what paperwork his own company uses? That explains the Class 5, LOL.

    “”I am relatively sure this will not be impressive enough to not justify hiring a consultant. But I think it shows improvements can be made as long as you are prepared.”, the little hick town goes from scoring a 30% grade to a 50% grade. Isn’t that still and “F”?

    What does that grade mean in real terms? Quite simply you are following half the minimum national minimum standards applied to your and everyone else’s department. You only have half the water you need, you only test your hydrants half the time, the hydrants are only inspected half the time, stations only cover half your area properly, your fire trucks are 50% equipped, you only perform pump. Aerial device and hose tests on half your equipment, you only equip half your reserve apparatus, you only have half the firefighters needed to do the job, you members are only doing half the training, and you pre-fire plan half the buildings in town and don’t have more than half the drawings you should. It also mean you the fire department hasn’t figured out how to move more than half the water needed in town. It means you really don’t “having our documentation in act in order” “you did not receive credit for large diameter hose.

    Only running half a fire department is not impressive and it really doesn’t prove you can wing it on your own and get a decent grade. Just means you scored more points but the grade is still embarrassing. I wonder does the water department take out half the impurities in the water required by the national standards? Does the power company supply have the electricity, does the phone company only do half, cable company provide half the channels, the garbage guy collects half the garbage…so why should anyone be impressed at a half way fire department?

    Do the laws of physics work differently in your town? Can you put out a fire with half the water? Half the guys, etc?

    “Next time” huh? Don’t be so sure it will improve.

  11. #11
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    OK...since I'm obviously an idiot and doing a really bad job of providing fire protection to about 2000 people spread out over 96 square miles, let me make one thing clear: Automatic aid is mutual aid...(the only thing that differs is the procedure in which the "mutual aid" company is dispatched...and when I talk about firephones VS E911, there is a big difference. Having 20 phones that ring into the firefighters homes (no pagers, no dispatchers, no generator, no recording device, no log books...just a local telephone number that rings 20 phones and WE take the call and respond...oh, and better hope your teenage daughter ain't on the phone!) VS having tone activated pagers with two E911 dispatchers on duty 24 hours a day with recording devices, generator, etc etc etc....DOES and DID make a difference. (blowing the fire whistle is just tradition...no points there.)

    I guess the biggest problem here is terminology. And arrogance. There's nothing wrong with a community my size (1000 residents)and a department that makes 50 calls a year being a class 6. Especially when we operate on a $40,000 per year budget and have limited means in equipment and staffing. The nearest "ladder" is 60 miles away....but then again, so is the nearest building that would require one. We don't have "reserve" apparatus...I don't even know what one looks like. Our staffing is whomever is around (out of 19 volunteers) at the time the pager (formerly fire phone) goes off. We work at jobs and sleep at our homes....and there's little more that was in our control that could have been done differently from our standpoint at our last ISO review.

    And these "volunteer" fire departments you speak of that are Class 1...I highly doubt they're in rural communities with populations of less than 2000 people, but tell me more. Do the volunteers sleep at the station? Do they haul water to rural areas or do they have hydrants throughout their entire district? Is the next nearest department less than 13 miles away in every direction? And do they do any better of a job putting out a fire being a class 1 than my guys do being a class 6? (I would say probably only 60% percent of the time, right? 100% - 40% = 60%) Unless we're in the country then the ratio of effectiveness from those departments to ours is 100% - 10% = 90%...but then again, if they had all of that fancy equipment (including those reserve trucks, whatever those are) in my neck of the woods with no water, they'd probably be just as able, or unable, to do much more than we could.

    I guess the nice thing about being an idiot and doing a really, really bad job of fighting fires is that I'm not alone. As I look through the ISO rating book in my office (yea...I sell insurance) I see a lot of deparments that must really suck. Thank God I'm not alone.

    And for the record...the companies I sell insurance for have the same rates for classes 1 through 7. They don't differentiate until you get to class 8, 9 and 10.

    So go ahead and work your butt off and spend all that money for that Class 1...and pay the same insurance rates as a Class 7, then tell me who the fool is.

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    “OK...since I'm obviously an idiot and doing a really bad job”, you don’t really need to be calling names!

    “Automatic aid is mutual aid...(the only thing that differs is the procedure in which the "mutual aid" company is dispatched” Sorry I quoted chapter and verse on the rating schedule and ISO doen’t see it that way. But heck give me an example of how you go credit for mutual aid...such as, how many miles are they from your district, what they brought you for aid, how many calls your FD runs a year, how many miles they are from your station and how many engines and ladders ISO said you needed.

    “when I talk about firephones VS E911, there is a big difference.” Not to ISO in a town your size a circuit is a circuit and you only need one.

    “Having 20 phones that ring into the firefighters homes (no pagers, no dispatchers,” None required for your number of calls per year. Hmm, Beatty NV has them with a Class 4 district wide no hydrants. Population 1600.

    “no generator, no recording device, no log books” E-911 does not include automatically… Thus item for item credit is what counts, not some word E-911.

    “just a local telephone number that rings 20 phones and WE take the call and respond” Sorry, you didn’t get a class change for that.

    “blowing the fire whistle is just tradition...no points there.”, not true, 66% credit, another bit of bad advice.

    “I guess the biggest problem here is terminology. And arrogance.” Yeah just keep posting incomplete inaccurate posts and someone will tear your posts apart for there lack of creditability.

    “There's nothing wrong with a community my size (1000 residents)and a department that makes 50 calls a year being a class 6. Earlier you said” of providing fire protection to about 2000 people spread out over 96 square miles, let me make one thing clear:”

    So why don’t you start telling the truth! You don’t have a Class 6! You have a Class 6 within 1000 feet of a fire hydrant. A Class 9 elsewhere within 5 miles of the fire house and a Class 10 through at least 18 square miles. You don’t need a formal dispatch center for less than 650 calls a year. A ring down or siren system does just fine and will lose less than a point. One point is not a Class change.

    “nearest "ladder" is 60 miles away” well you didn’t get mutual aid credit for that did you? No because ISO won’t credit that, want to try and tell us what ISO gave Mutual Aid credit for? Where in the schedule it allows that?

    “We don't have "reserve" apparatus” well ISO didn’t give your mutual aid reserve engine credit either now did they?

    “there's little more that was in our control that could have been done differently from our standpoint at our last ISO review.” Exactly the case, from your standpoint. Open you classification and improvement statements on your water flow sheets, how many X’s do you count? Share them with us.

    “And these "volunteer" fire departments you speak of that are Class 1...I highly doubt they're in rural communities with populations of less than 2000 people, but tell me more.”

    Gee would a Class 3 district wide count covering 300 square miles without hydrants and a population of 1700 count> How about a 4 with 100 sq miles and 110 homes? 400 square miles and a 3 without hydrants?

    “Do the volunteers sleep at the station?” who cares, what is the point?

    “Do they haul water to rural areas or do they have hydrants throughout their entire district?” Apparently a lot better than your Class 9 and 10.

    “Is the next nearest department less than 13 miles away in every direction?” Oh heck no but 110 miles one way,70 another, then 90 and 30. Will that count? 13 miles huh? ISO didn’t credit any automatic aid in your town!

    “And do they do any better of a job putting out a fire being a class 1 than my guys do being a class 6?” ISO seems to think so based upon 44, 800 fire department grades in the U.S.

    Loss per $1000 valuation Source: ISO™
    Class Commercial Residential Class Commercial Residential
    1 $0.25 $0.37 6 $0.45 $0.55
    2 $0.30 $0.37 7 $0.55 $0.75
    3 $0.35 $0.42 8 $0.60 $0.78
    4 $0.37 $0.45 9 $0.68 $0.79
    5 $0.38 $0.49 10 $0.85 $1.10

    So, let’s see, your commercial losses are percent higher 180% higher in your class 6 areas, 272% higher in the 9 areas, 340% higher in the Class 10 areas. Residentially, 148%, 213% and 297% respectively.

    “And for the record...the companies I sell insurance for have the same rates for classes 1 through 7. They don't differentiate until you get to class 8, 9 and 10. “ But others do offer breaks and every break in commercial insurance does offer a break. And you Class 9 and 10 customers are screwed!

    You know, the subject was consultants, you obviously are giving bad advice, maybe a little help you would have done much better. Thus the poist of my posts. I know I made a town smaller than your get a much better grade than yours AND cover 285 square miles without hydrants and Have a district wide Class 3.

  13. #13
    Senior Member Dalmatian90's Avatar
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    Now, I'm a bit confused...

    First chiefmikec says...
    Oh, come on down the 16th to Tomball, TX and meet Mr. Stevens and all the gang from ISO, as ISO presents our volunteer fire department with our Class 1 city and Class 2 - 70 square mile rural area (no hydrants).

    Then chiefmikec says...
    I know I made a town smaller than your get a much better grade than yours AND cover 285 square miles without hydrants and Have a district wide Class 3.

    Did the Chief make one community a 3, then move on to a new town to make it a 1/2?

    Is there really a chiefmikec talking here, or is it just Larry Stevens going from talking in the third person to first person from post to post?

    But why would Larry post using a name like chiefmikec?

    Just doesn't make sense.

  14. #14
    Forum Member FyredUp's Avatar
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    mike....

    Thanks for keeping this civil....I always appreciate listening to someone whose idea of help is insulting you and telling you how incompetent you are.

    Yepper....its all so easy.

    I have no control over the water department. They are run by the Village and I can plead, cajole and give them all the facts I want to prove my case. If they don't want to spend the money they won't spend the money.

    Dispatch is handled by the county sheriff. I have no ultimate control over how they run their operation. Although we did get all the dispatch points.

    Show me where I bragged about anything, let alone training. I stated what we did. If you want an example of grand stand bragging look at your own posts.

    As far as the insurance savings value of ISO...sorry you are wrong. If the homeowner's insurance company does not recognize ISO ratings a better ISO rating has no effect on their premium. An example in Wisconsin is State Farm Insurance. They do not use ISO at all, they grade insurance premiums on losses in a designated geographical zone. I know this for a fact because I was just recently shopping for new home owners insurance. My village president said to me "My insurance company doesn't use ISO, so where is the savings benefit for me?" By the way my current home owners insurance company shows no difference in premiums between a class 5 and a class 3.

    As for your "You tried for a Class 5? On purpose?" No we did not try for a class 5 on purpose. We tried for a 4. By the way...not that this will impress you in the least I am sure, our 2 closest larger neighbors are both class 6. The best ISO rating in the county is a 3.

    And, here is a question for you...your hero Larry made a big issue about people promoting products on the forums. It seems to me that what you are doing is nothing more than a commercial for Larry Stevens. Hence it is prohibitted on the forums. If in fact YOU are not Larry Stevens yourself in another one of his many guises.

    FyredUp

  15. #15
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    Chief Clack gave you his email address on his first post. He is well known in the region for having the best ISO grade in Texas without hydrants, a class 3 and helped Tomball with their class 2 OPA grade and he is the chief of Nueces County FPD in Corpus Christi. Mike was at the ISO awards in Tomball. Feel free to ask the fire chief.

    He is not a consultant, he just helped a neighbor, you can be sure he will repeat his success shortlty at his new non-hydranted class 9 and 10 fire department.

    It looks like he did a pretty good job refuting much of what has been posted on this forum on ISO. Only fyredup and a few others are naming names, Mike has been generic to consultants and facts.

    Excuses like my carrier doesn't use ISO or State Farm doesn't use ISO doesn't really fly. You say in your own post that others do offer breaks. Because the other carriers do and even State Farm has four breaks.

    I quote from the Odessa Paper:

    "Odessa State Farm agent Barry Smith said the ISO's protection class rating is a "big thing." "It makes the rates go down," Smith said. "Due to the efforts of the fire department, they got the protection class changed in Odessa, which amounts to a lowering of premiums of about $100 a year, and in some instances, $150, depending on the amount of insurance coverage."

    "State Farm spokesman Keith Androff said while ISO ratings still play a factor in setting homeowners rates"


    Excuses like I have no control over dispatch or over the water department are pretty sorry. How does a department without a water system score a Class 2? Not all dispatch points are in dispatches hands.

    BFD was asked some good questions. The rules are quite clear and applied equally nationwide. Mike is posting the facts and sources, it would be nice to see someone else do the same.

    There is quite a bit more here than you seem to understasnd and many of you are being honest about. Post some facts, post some support, so far your arguments are weak!

  16. #16
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    OK...one last time...to try and set the record straight.

    We got no credit for mutual aid on our ISO score. In order to do that it would have to be automatic. My point earlier was that I call it mutual aid, you call it automatic aid, and it really is to be called automatic mutual aid. Anytime another department responds to assist mine, whether automatically or not, it is called mutual aid. That is the point I was trying to make earlier, but someone keeps getting hung up on that word mutual. We did not have automatic mutual aid agreements, therefore we got no credit for it. Had we had agreements it would be a different story, right?

    No...I didn't get credit for a ladder...that was my point...another poster was talking about ladders, reserve apparatus, etc etc etc. My point was that is not an option....again, I know I didn't get credit for that..., no ladders, no reserve apparatus, no option...

    Dispatch-under the control of the elected county sheriff. Not in my town. No circuits, no ring down systems, no automatic sirens (except for a tornado) Again, my point, 1991: firephones with a local number-no back up, no 911, dial it and get an operator in Atlanta (remember, I'm in Indiana)...phone lines go down-people screwed. No mobility...not home? you're screwed. 2001: E-911, two dispatchers 24hrs a day, recorded lines, multiple phone lines, generator backup, voice activated pagers. Did this not help me? If not, why did I drive the ISO guy to the county seat to see the dispatch center where he asked a bunch of questions? Again my point...E911 helped me in MY case. Jeez....I guess I should have called it central dispatching or something...again..let's get hung up on terminology.

    Water flow: Not under my control. Elected town council hires the water superintendent and tells him what to do. We've done $750,000 in projects in the last 10 years...it's better, but I have no control over it..don't pay for it, don't call the shots.

    My town is a class 6, period. No ifs ands or buts. I wasn't even discussing my townships. One of my townships is a 6/9...the other two are 9/10. But so are all the other townships in my county...and most in this state as well. Do we still put fires out? You bet we do!

    I probably missed a few questions, but I don't think some posters really care to read what I'm trying to say nor understand what I'm saying. But I have a question....I keep hearing about these volunteer departments with no hydrants that are a class 3, and how easy it is to achieve this. So, please, give me the specific details on these departments. How many apparatus? What types? How old are they? how many volunteers? (any paid on-call or volunteers sitting at the station during certain hours?) What's the annual budget? How is it funded? What's the population? Square miles? Mutual aid? (yes, I mean automatic) What's your water sources? Lakes, ponds, dry hydrants? How many runs per year? (not including any medical calls) How are alarms received and handled? Tell me about the chief....what's he do for a living? Oh...and a two more questions... How much money did it cost to get to a Class 3? (apparatus and equipment purchases, etc.) and how much does one pay these consultants to get them there?

    I apologize if I don't have the ego thing going and insist on degrading those departments that improve, whether it's from a 9 to a 3 or a 7 to a 6...I think they deserve some credit regardless. I've not once discredited anyone who has a lower (or higher for that matter) score than I do. For whatever reason, some posters think that since they've got a lower score than others that they are superior...I know what I had to work with 20 years ago when I joined this department and I know what I've got now. Even if I were a class 9, I'd still sleep at night knowing I'm providing a better service than what we were 20 years ago...I lived it and have more and better equipment to prove it and a great bunch of guys who believe in helping their fellow neighbors any way we can...and no ISO score can reflect that and no self proclaimed expert can discredit that.

  17. #17
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    Let it go!
    It's not worth it.

  18. #18
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    BFD,

    You said quite clearly: "I'd like to argue a few points about E911 and mutual aid agreements not making a difference, but ya know....it ain't worth it."

    Another poster was quite clear ISO does not give credit for mutual aid and gave an exact quote. The mileage, area covered, apparatus needed all on there own exclude mutual or automatic air counting in your rating. You never bothered to answer the direct questions you were asked to prove it 10 more ways.

    Your post, "I'd like to argue a few points about E911 and mutual aid agreements not making a difference,...We got no credit for mutual aid on our ISO score. In order to do that it would have to be automatic. My point earlier was that I call it mutual aid, you call it automatic aid, and it really is to be called automatic mutual aid. Anytime another department responds to assist mine, whether automatically or not, it is called mutual aid. That is the point I was trying to make earlier, but someone keeps getting hung up on that word mutual. We did not have automatic mutual aid agreements, therefore we got no credit for it." It makes a lot of difference to get no credit? That was your advice to the little fire department, do something with no credit?


    E-911 does not get any credit for beng E-911, you get credit for components and E-911 is not one of those component parts that scores. Sirens 20 points, phone ringer system 20 points, pagers 30 points, etc. 10 points versus 30 did not get you a class change. If E-911 was worth the whole 10 points in communications then ISO would say so and they don't and there are lots of E-911 centers with 4 and 5 point scores. Then you said, "Had we had agreements it would be a different story, right" No 5 miles maximum response distance, you have 13 miles and 60 miles, must be needed, they are not needed in your department, so no matter what you did, they would not count. Just say it, you are wrong!

    "No...I didn't get credit for a ladder...that was my point...another poster was talking about ladders," You did in fact say it was 60 miles away for a ladder and the other poster was clear saying that will not count for your mutual aid argument.

    "Dispatch-under the control of the elected county sheriff." You control 20% of the Communications grade. the ringdown system did not cost you big points. It is right out of the rating schedule.

    "Water flow: Not under my control." BUll! You can get credit for big hose, laying from distant water mains, having a plan, obviously you din't and the other poster asked for the number of X's on your sheet and you won't share them with us.

    "My town is a class 6, period." You are simply lying! You said, " 2000 people spread out over 96 square miles," Well you did not get a Class 6 in 96 square miles, it is impossible. You have a 6/9/10 grades. You said it! So you expect us to belive your town has hydrant coverage for a Class 6 over 96 square miles and only 2000 people? How many stations do you have?

    I probably missed a few questions, but I don't think some posters really care to read... Yeah you keep changing your story and say your words don't have any meaning. It is a shame you can't answer a direct question.

    "But I have a question...." Why should anyone bother to answer yours when you don't bother to answer the direct questions asked you?

    "For whatever reason, some posters think that since they've got a lower score than others that they are superior"

    You missed the point, you keep giving bad advice and others are trying to set the record straight like you don't cover 96 square miles with a Class 6 and mutual aid will not apply in oyur case or anyone elses. That E-911 has no value. The E is for tracking the call and nothing else, everything else in a E-911 center is optional and thus it is looked at as such.

    "...and no ISO score can reflect that and no self proclaimed expert can discredit that."

    Your ISO grade does in fact point out you have the second worst grade possible with a water system that you only meet 40% of the minimum fire protection needs of your community and your fire loss is close to twice as high as it should be compared to other communities, that you don't have your water act together. But heck feel free to make up your grade, and blame others for your grade.

    You are giving bad advice.

  19. #19
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    Should have taken the previous advice...can't get something through to someone who doesn't want to listen.

    Four jurisdictions=Four ISO classifications

    Town: 6
    Township #1: 6/9
    Township #2: 9/10
    Township #3: 9/10


    2000 population: 1000 in the town with the class 6....everyone else spread out over the 96 square miles.

    Forget the rest...you won't listen anyway (or just can't understand how things are in the real world)

    I'm done arguing...but if you're so superior, why won't you answer my questions and prove what you've been bragging about?

  20. #20
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    But why would Larry post using a name like chiefmikec?
    Remember Dal? One the incarnations was "MikeC," which was banned for being Larry.

    [edit- Oh, wait. Sarcasm. n/m.]


    I'm done arguing...
    Starve the trolls!


    but if you're so superior, why won't you answer my questions and prove what you've been bragging about?
    Larry's a businessman if nothing else. If he tells you how he does what he does, he can't talk you into paying him to do it.

    The book on his website is a different matter. Good enough to provide a starting point, just vague enough to not be a substitute for his "guidance."
    Last edited by CollegeBuff; 04-19-2003 at 11:15 AM.

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