Clintonville improves ISO score
May reduce property insurance premiums
By Bert Lehman
The Clintonville Fire Department recently learned that its Insurance Service Organization (ISO) score would be lowered from 4 to 3.
Clintonville Fire Chief Shane Krueger told the Clintonville City Council at its Jan. 14 meeting about the improved score.
He said this puts the department within the top 15 percent of cities in Wisconsin for having that type of a score.
The improved ISO score could mean reduced insurance rates for taxpayers.
“If you have insurance, which I hope everyone does, you might see a little bit of a reduction in the cost for fire insurance,” Krueger said.
Investment in the city’s water system, as well as qualifications and training were factors that helped the department better its ISO score.
“I could not find a community our size with an ISO score 3,” Krueger said. “I think that says a lot about what the fire department has been doing.”
Krueger also shared other information from the Clintonville Fire Department 2019 Report.
In the report, Krueger said the Clintonville Fire Department responded to 144 emergency calls in 2019, which sets a new record. Twenty percent of emergency calls were for structure fires. Following structure fires were spills, which comprised 15 percent of the emergency calls.
Daytime response time
Krueger said one thing that continues to be a concern for the fire department is the daytime response time to emergency calls.
The fire department uses National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) as recognized by the Department of Safety and Professional Services (DSPS) to measure response time.
Under the NFPA guidelines a community the size of Clintonville must staff six responders under 14 minutes and meet this objective 90 percent of the time.
“Seventy percent of the time we are not meeting the NFPA standards of response for the number of responders that we have,” Krueger said.
Information in the report indicated that 50 emergencies occurred during weekday hours, which is defined as 7 a.m. to 5 p.m., Monday through Friday. Of those calls, 35 calls resulted in staffing under 10 responders. The department averaged 8.2 responders during weekday hours.
Of the 94 emergency calls that occurred during off peak hours, only 21 of those calls resulted in staffing under 10 responders, or 22 percent. The fire department averaged 12 responders during off peak hours.
“What it also shows is that the volunteer department is working when it is away from the work times,” Krueger said.
The department is meeting the response time standard during evenings, weekends and holidays.
“Having a volunteer department is certainly saving the taxpayers money,” Krueger said.
He added that the department has seen a 64 percent increase in emergency calls since 2015.
The report contained information about the estimated 400 commercial properties that are required to have two inspections each year.
The fire department met 100 percent compliance with two inspections in 2019.
Currently, the fire department has six certified fire inspectors. A total of 835 hours were spent doing fire inspections.
Krueger said he expects the number of hours devoted for fire code inspections to increase in the future.
Krueger also spoke about the extensive training firefighters need.
“We’re the first department in Waupaca County to meet some of the criteria and the training, so we’re far exceeding the minimums of the state,” Krueger said. “I’m pretty proud of our department and our members who dedicate their time to do that.”