Archive for April 19th, 2017

Lake Forest Fire Department news

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After almost eight months as acting fire chief, the Lake Forest City Council appointed Pete Siebert fire chief on April 17.

Siebert joined the Lake Forest Fire Department in May 1996. Becoming chief wasn’t something he had originally thought about.

“I put my hat in the ring and here I am,” he said.

The city council appointed him interim deputy chief in November 2015 and permanent deputy chief in May 2016. When Fire Chief Jeff Howell left in September 2016, the city council appointed Siebert as acting fire chief.

The city has been having conversations with other communities about sharing fire services.

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Northbrook Fire Department news

Excerpts from the

The Insurance Services Office has rated the Northbrook Fire Department a Class 1, placing it among the top 243 departments of a total 47,000 nationwide.

It’s been a long road to the honor for the department which was rated at Class 5 at the beginning of 1996. The department jumped to Class 3 that year and to a Class 2 about three years later.

On a 100-point system, the rating awards a possible 50 points for fire operations, 40 for firefighting water availability, and 10 for communications, according to the ISO. Northbrook cleared the 90-point Class 1 hurdle with 91.72.

The rating organization has become more accepting of automatic aid in recent years, recognizing that in dense suburban areas, it makes sense to share resources, said Northbrook Fire Department Deputy Chief Dan Quinn.

Northbrook’s response times have been inching up in recent years, Quinn acknowledged, adding that the steady growth of the village and the call load have been responsible. Through the use of full-time and paid-on-call firefighters, automatic aid, and non-automatic mutual aid, Northbrook averages 26 people at every structure fire, he said, compared to the 15 that ISO looks for.

Recognition by ISO that mutual and automatic aid is an efficient way of responding to emergencies may be part of the reason that the number of Class 1 departments has tripled to about a dozen over the past decade. Other towns with the top rating include Skokie, Arlington Heights, Downers Grove, and Westmont.

ISO, which sells its rating information to insurance companies, declined comment about Northbrook’s new rating, and referred questions to Northbrook officials.

Northbrook officials have recommended that property owners ask insurers if they qualify for a discount after July 1, when the new rating takes effect, but ISO ratings are often not considered in Illinois premium rate-setting, especially in residential underwriting

Some insurance companies are on record as preferring to use their own history of fire service to customers, as opposed to ISO’s. Allstate uses ISO, but other factors, too.

The top ISO rating is important to fire service professionals as a gauge of how well a department is doing the business of putting out fires.

Northbrook has kept up with training, equipment, and firefighting techniques as a matter of course, and reaching Class 1 status didn’t cost taxpayers anything extra.

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Aurora Fire Department news

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