By Susan Motander
At the City Council Meeting this week, Fire Chief Brad Dover announced that Monrovia Fire and Rescue’s Public Protection Classification (PPC) rating was upgraded from Class 3 to Class 2. This rating by the Independent Services Office (ISO) means that the department is now in the top 3.5 percent of fire departments nationwide.
Dover said that insurance premiums for residents might be lowered as a result of the improved rating. He also said that insurance companies are automatically notified by ISO when a rating changes. The change in classification will increase the marketability of the city to developers, business and families looking to move here.
ISO studies three major areas when rating a fire department: Emergency Communications, the Water Supply and the Fire Department itself. Out of a total of 105.5 possible points, Monrovia received 88.6 points. Dover explained that he had requested the review by ISO only five years after the last evaluation, rather than the standard 10 years. He also outlined his plans to the council for reaching Class 1 within two years. He said that he would request an additional review at that time.
The chief related the steady improvement of the city’s ratings. Initially, in 1937 the department received a Class 5 rating. This was improved to a Class 4 designation in 1965. By 1999 the Monrovia Fire Department was upgraded to Class 3. With the Class 2 PPC, Monrovia Fire and Rescue within two points of reaching Class 1 status.
Dover explained that the review gives Monrovia Fire and Rescue “a road map of areas where improvements can be made.” The department will work to improve data collection of training evolutions. The report also made the department aware of the fact that the norm is now 60 hours of driver training rather than the current 40 hours.
Also within the next two years, the Chief said he plans to replace Truck 101 that will improve the score in this area. When the ladder truck is replaced, the required equipment will be added to the vehicle.
Plans also include improvement s to the water supply to improve that score as well. Monrovia Renewal is in the process of improving the infrastructure. The city will also work with Cal-American Water to improve the rating in their service area within the city. In addition, pressure testing will be added to recurring procedures.
The final area in which Dover outlined planned improvements was in reducing Community Risk. Among other steps, fire department personnel have joined the Verdugo Arson Task Force and are working to get additional personnel certified as Arson Investigators. There are also plans to establish a certification policy for Public Educator programs.
In presenting the review to the council, the Chief praised both the Police Department and the Public Services Department for the part those departments played in the upgraded rating.