Washington Township’s insurance classification for its fire department, along with deficiencies within that organization, will be announced within the next couple of weeks after an in-depth analysis was created by Insurance Services Office, Inc. (ISO).
Representatives Robert Cobb and Scott Rauch described how the company creates its analysis of various fire departments in front of the Washington Township Committee and about 30 members of the , Long Valley and companies.
Particulars weren’t released however, due to company policy.
“We only give the proprietary information to the department chief and mayor and their staffs,” Cobb said. “The officials can then do what they want and share the information with whomever they choose afterward.”
The analysis takes more than just the department’s apparatus and members into account, as it scopes the entire community for water supply, distance of buildings from a fire station, communications, and other various data points.
“Once we have all the data, we classify each part,” Cobb said. “You can have a (highly-rated) class 3 fire department and a class 7 communications system. We look at everything.”
Once the analysis is complete, Rauch will meet with Washington Township Mayor Ken Short and fire department chief Craig Wallenstein. Aside from the classifications set by ISO, the company will also make the fire department aware of any deficiencies it sees, from equipment problems to water supply shortages in town.
The analysis, spanning approximately 35 pages, took about two months to complete for Washington Township, Cobb said.
None of the analysis or work comes at a cost to the township, as nine of the 10 largest insurers in the country work with ISO and retain its services.
The findings can directly affect homeowners as well, Cobb said.
If the study shows a lack of water supply or hydrant in a specific area, and the township installs one, insurance companies will decrease a homeowner’s premium if that hydrant is within 1,000 feet of the home.
The analysis also takes future instances into consideration, set for the Long Valley Fire Co.