The Vichy Volunteer Fire Department has achieved an ISO classification of 5 for the Rolla National Airport at Vichy. This means that businesses located there could see a reduction in insurance premiums in the future. In September 2018, the Vichy department underwent an ISO Fire Suppression Rating Schedule (FSRS) evaluation to see if the department could improve its ISO classification, at least at the airport, because of the new well, tower and fire hydrants that had been installed to accommodate new industry. Previously, the entire Vichy service area, approximately a six-mile radius of firehouse, was a 9. Areas beyond the airport (and beyond 1,000 feet of a fire hydrant) remain a 9 rating.
ISO—short for Insurance Services Organization—is a public company that collects loss data and other information that helps insurance companies predict losses and set insurance rates. Part of the data collection includes the FSRS evaluation that looks at four primary fire department categories of fire suppression, which includes the fire department itself (equipment, personnel and training), emergency communication, water supply and community risk reduction.
“A lower ISO rating can result in lower insurance premiums for property owners,” said Bonnie Prigge, president of the Vichy Volunteer Fire Department. “Brewer Science brought to our attention that we had not had an ISO evaluation since the city of Rolla had made infrastructure improvements at the airport, including a new well, water tower, fire hydrants and water lines. After some discussion with the City of Rolla Fire and Rescue, we believed that we could achieve a 7 rating for the airport, so we are extremely excited and pleased to secure a 5 rating.”
Prigge is quick to point out that this achievement is shared with the City of Rolla, City of Rolla Fire and Rescue and Brewer Science along with Maries County and the Rolla Regional Economic Commission.
The collaboration team includes: Bonnie Prigge, President of the Vichy Vol. Fire Department; Mike Prigge, Fire Chief of the Vichy Vol. Fire Department; John Butz, City Administrator for the City of Rolla; Ron Smith, Fire Chief, City of Rolla Fire & Rescue; Jeff Breen, Assistant Chief of the City of Rolla Fire and Rescue; Kevin Veik, Director of Business Architecture for Brewer Science; Tracy Edwards, Global Risk Manager for Brewer Science; Cyndra Lorey, Executive Director for the Rolla Regional Economic Commission; and Ray Schwartze, former Presiding Commissioner for Maries County.
Last summer, Brewer Science made a significant donation to the Vichy department to purchase additional fire hoses and other needed equipment, specific to ISO requirements and accessing water at the airport. Rolla City Fire Chief Ron Smith and Assistant Chief Jeff Breen took the lead on identifying needed equipment and data for the evaluation, including fire reports, training records, pump and ladder inspection reports, and communication and dispatching data through the Maries County Sheriff’s Department, and compiled and organized the information for the evaluation. While the group met and exceeded its rating goal on the first try, the collaboration team plans to continue to meet and work toward the goal of an improved rating at the airport and district-wide.
Since the evaluation, the Vichy Volunteer Fire Department has identified several areas for improvement, including the need for additional firefighters, additional structural firefighter training and improved recordkeeping.
To achieve a better district-wide rating—most likely an 8b—for the area outside the airport proper, the department needs to document that the majority of its firefighters receive at least 24 hours of structural firefighter training.
“We are so appreciative of the help and assistance we have received on this effort,” said Bonnie Prigge. “We would not have achieved a 5 rating so fast without the financial assistance from Brewer Science, the expertise of the City of Rolla Fire and Rescue, and the infrastructure investment made by the City of Rolla. We are glad that the team is willing to continue to work toward our shared goals, as we will need their support and assistance moving forward. I also want to extend a special thank you to our volunteer firefighters, who are key to this whole effort, and our board of directors and volunteers, who devote many hours to the Vichy fire department, making sure it has the funding it needs to operate and improve. There is a fire department in Vichy because of the commitment of some very dedicated, community-minded volunteers, some of whom have been involved since Day 1,” Prigge said. The Vichy department was formed in 1977 and celebrated its 40th anniversary in 2017.
The Vichy fire department, as well as the team, wants to continue to improve the rating at the airport and believes that a 4 rating is achievable over the next two to three years.
“The improved ISO Rating Inspection helps Brewer Science and other companies located at the Vichy airport to reduce insurance costs,” said Kevin Veik. “However, the greatest value is knowing that the people of the community will benefit from the additional equipment and capability of the Vichy Volunteer Fire Department.”
About Brewer Science:
Brewer Science is a global leader in developing and manufacturing next-generation materials and processes that foster the technology needed for tomorrow. Since 1981, we’ve expanded our technology portfolio within advanced lithography, advanced packaging, and printed electronics to enable cutting-edge microdevices and unique monitoring systems for industrial, environmental, and air applications. Our relationship-focused approach provides outcomes that facilitate and deliver critical information. Our headquarters are in Rolla, Missouri, with customer support throughout the world. We invite you to learn more about Brewer Science at www.brewerscience.com.
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Bonnie Prigge, Vichy Vol. Fire Dept.