When he moved to
Woolard said he's excited to be in the new position and his goal is for all GVFD firefighters to earn a
"Right now about 60 percent of firefighters have that certification, but the goal is to have 90 percent of them with that certification within the next five years," Woolard said.
"Because of that familiarity, it was natural to move him into the position," Wallis said. "Given his experience and his ability to manage the department, he will be very successful steering the department forward."
New ISO rating
Wallis said the
"They essentially grade fire departments on their abilities to respond to fires," Wallis said. "Since '98 we've made a lot of changes in the department. We decided that we're finally at a point where we can go back and request a re-evaluation. We thought our score would improve."
In 1998, the department was scored with a seven/nine rating, which means that inside the city limits their protection rating was a seven and outside in the unincorporated fire district it was a nine, Wallis said. When the ISO re-evaluated the department, they came out with a score of two/four.
"The benefit for property owners is that score takes affect
Wallis said the rating changed because of enhancements in the department itself.
"We've made improvements to the quality of training in the department," Wallis said. "We're now a commission regulated volunteer fire department instead of just being a regular volunteer fire department.
"Volunteer fire departments aren't necessarily regulated by any entity, but a volunteer fire department can voluntarily choose to be regulated by the [TCFP], which is the entity that regulates paid fire departments. We made that jump a couple of months ago to be voluntarily regulated by them."
This basically means the GVFD is held to the same standards and rules as the bigger fire departments like
During the ISO review, the commission looked at several criteria, including hauled water, manpower, response time, apparatus classifications, equipment and capabilities on the fire department side, Woolard said. Emergency communications accounts for a portion of the ISO score as well.
The remainder of the ISO score was a mix of certified personnel, documented training and addendum credits such as having a compressed air foam system and thermal imaging equipment, as well as fire prevention and occupancy pre-plans, Woolard said.
"Our quest for TCFP regulation came from the desire to better ourselves as a department and make it known that we are providing the best possible service that we can for our citizens," Woolard said. "This regulation means that we abide by the same policies, procedures and criteria that most full-time departments must maintain. It is an extra layer of accountability that we are prepared to meet, to assure our citizens that we aspire to that next level of commitment."
Woolard said the TCFP is a cooperative and fostering agency.
"They were completely helpful in aligning us with the requirements that they expect from us, while also providing detailed instruction on how to achieve these minimums," Woolard said. "I cannot express how fortunate we are to have
"We feel that this will help us move ahead and keep us in line with where we want to be in five, 10, 20 years. Our firefighters are committed to safety and training and 100 percent behind providing this level of quality to our citizens. Without them, none of this exists and we have some of the finest personnel that we have ever had in my time here."
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