It's a number most residents don't even know exists, but it has a major impact on safety, and citizens' wallets. It's called an ISO Rating, a score that determines how quickly and efficiently fire departments respond to emergencies.
Many insurance companies use this ISO number to help determine property premiums, which may soon drop in the City of Montgomery.
It's a situation where being prepared, and earning an honorable rating
have the same requirements. The City of Prattville recently improved its
ISO rating from a 4 to a 2.
It's not a fire call, but what crews with the Montgomery Fire Department's Station 6 were doing Thursday was equally as important. Station 6 was in the throws of daily training. Thursday it was a top-side rescue under scorching midday heat. "Get the victim on the roof," one official yells, using a ladder truck to get the job done. It's all part of ISO requirements.
"Each firefighter must have 20 hours of trainer per month," explains Chief Miford Jordan.
Response times, functionality and age of equipment and the number of firefighters also play a role in the rating. Jordan says pumper truck response times have to be under 3:36 and ladder trucks around 4 minutes.
It's been 13 years since the City of Montgomery's ISO rating has been evaluated and Chief Miford says he's expecting an evaluation "any time".
The best score possible is a one, and Montgomery currently has the highest rating in the state among large cities at a two. Chief Jordan is confident that number may soon improve, and he says improvements can open the doors to new grants.
"Let's go over what we've got, and lets rescue the victim," officials are overheard back at the training. The MFD combs over the exercise, tying up lose ends that could push Montgomery closer to its perfect score.
WSFA 12 News will share information as it becomes available when ISO visits Montgomery and delivers the new rating.
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