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Fire Department Analyzed for Deficiencies

Study nearly complete after two months of data gathering.

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. 

Emily L Elsasser September 18, 2012 at 10:10 PM
Claire, again, are you on any of the fire depts in town?!?! I don't know you, so NO!! Stop claiming that you know things that you dont! And if you are not satisfied with what you think your donation is being used for, please by all means stop donating! (by the way, the apparatus is the most important part of the safety equipment, it gets us from point A to point B WITH ALL THE SAFETY EQUIPTMENT ON IT, OH AND THE WATER!!!)    This is so disgusting to me how community members can talk so poorly about their own town's volunteer fire depts.  Jason, I'm sorry I am going to have to agree, this may not have been the best article to post, especially with the title you selected.
Emily L Elsasser September 18, 2012 at 10:11 PM
Oh and to shut down the issue regarding the multiple companies at emergency scenes, WE ALL HAVE REGULAR JOBS, so during the day time when many of us are at our regular jobs, there are not many volunteer firefighters in the area that are able to respond, so rather than having 2 people show up to an incident that may require many, all the TOWN COMPANIES ARE PAGED TO GET AS MUCH MANPOWER ON SCENE SO WE ARE ABLE TO RESOLVE THE EMERGENCY!!!! Oh and for the record, the "fancy paint" you all speak about...THEY'RE STICKERS!!! Foiled... Mr Tobin, thank you for trying to defend us and what we do, no one will truly understand until they need us. -Emily Elsasser 
Tracy Tobin September 19, 2012 at 01:55 AM
Claire What do you mean by "Many fireman fillup too"? Sounds like some sort of accusation, so please be specific.
Tracy Tobin September 19, 2012 at 02:10 AM
Police units will normally arrive at an incident scene before Fire and First Aid because the patrol officer is already in their vehicle and on the road. They do not need to travel to a Fire House or First Aid Station and wait for additional trained and certified personnel to arrive, to meet State mandated requirements, before "driving emergency rigs" to the incident scene. What the responding officer(s) can do is start basic emergency medical response steps while the First Aid rig and personnel are enroute and alert residents to evacuate their home(s) if necessary while the fire company is enroute. The primary responsibility of Fire, First Aid and Police are to save lives. Property comes second as harsh as that may sound. A home, car, etc. can usually be replaced, but a person is gone forever. It would be great if all comments and responses on Patch blogs, Face Book, etc. could be calm and logical but a lot of people get emotional when someone disagrees with them.
Domino September 19, 2012 at 12:22 PM
Emily, thank you for all of your posts. There seems to be a stupidity epidemic in Long Valley. I'm glad you pointed that out to some of these people.

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