|Obion fire chief working to keep audit on schedule |
|Posted: Friday, September 2, 2011 9:46 pm |
By KEVIN BOWDEN
Obion Fire Chief Jamie Evans said he is pleased with the progress being made on a new audit of Obion’s fire fighting infrastructure.
In fact, Evans said work on the audit is actually ahead of schedule.
It was in early July that the Obion City Council approved a recommendation from Evans to hire Greenfield Fire Chief Bob Dudley to perform an ISO audit.
The council approved spending up to $5,000 for the audit, but it is expected the bill will be much lower than the budgeted amount.
Dudley operates Dudley’s Fire Consultants and has performed similar ISO audits for other cities across the region.
He has been working with Evans for the past few weeks on mapping out the city’s water lines and doing inspections on the fire department’s equipment.
Evans explained ISO officials have a specific format in which they want to see the information submitted and Dudley is helping reformat the city’s information for the audit agency.
In addition to checking the city’s firefighting infrastructure, Evans said he and Dudley have been documenting all the training the department’s volunteer firefighters have gone through and tests have been run on the department’s three firefighting trucks and all the department’s equipment.
Evans referred to it as “proving our equipment” and said the testing has involved unraveling some 7,000 feet of fire hoses and testing the hoses to make certain they can handle up to 250 psi of water pressure.
The next step for the ISO survey is flow testing the city’s fire hydrants, which involves actually flushing and monitoring each of the city’s 88 fire hydrants. That process will create temporary low water pressure and some rusty water for residents in the neighborhoods where the testing is being done, according to Evans.
He and Dudley will work with new Public Works director Randy Evans on checking the town’s fire hydrants around the middle of September.
Jamie Evans estimated about 20 fire hydrants could be checked in a day. He estimated checking the entire system should be completed in a couple of weeks.
Jamie Evans said he and others in the fire department have already put in more than 200 volunteer hours working on the ISO audit.
Once the audit is completed an insurance service representative will visit Obion to review the audit and perform random checks on some of the audit’s findings. The representative will likely check the fire department’s equipment and fire plan and will likely verify the integrity of the town’s 911 system.
The result for residents of Obion should be lower insurance rates.
Currently, Obion has a 7 ISO rating, which is used by insurance companies to set property insurance rates. Evans said he realistically expects the ISO survey could be lowered by as much as three points, with the town’s water flow being the limiting factor.
Jamie Evans said he expects to have the actual on-site ISO inspection done by late November.
If all goes as planned, Jamie Evans said the town should expect the new ISO rating to be announced by Jan. 1, 2012, and Obion residents would then see lower insurance rates when their insurance renewal notices comes due.
Jamie Evans said he expects Obion residents could see their insurance rates lowered by 10 to 30 percent, depending on the new ISO classification.
Staff Reporter Kevin Bowden may be contacted by email at email@example.com.
Published in The Messenger 9.2.11