Cary, Fox River Grove fire ratings improve

Two fire protection districts have received higher ratings on their abilities to fight fires.

Ratings for the Cary and Fox River Grove Fire Protection Districts by the Insurance Services Office improved from a "Class 4" to a "Class 3", according to a joint news release from the two districts.

The districts received the ratings earlier this week.

ISO ratings are on a scale of 1 to 10, with 1 being the best. An ISO rating is one of the factors insurance companies use when establishing rates for personal and commercial property insurance.

ISO gauges the capability of fire departments to respond to structure fires in an area.

Improved ISO ratings can potentially help lead to lower insurance rates, the news release said.

"We're going to work harder to get it down to a two," said Cary Fire Chief Jeff Macko.

The two fire districts have have worked to improve their ratings, such as increasing the man power at stations, undergoing additional training, going to SEECOM for dispatching, and having automatic-aid agreements with surrounding agencies.

The last time fire districts were rated was 10 to 12 years ago, said Fox River Grove Fire Chief Robert Kreher.

During that time period, Cary has gone from six firefighters on duty to at least nine firefighters at all times. Fox River Grove has gone from one firefighter at the station, to four to five firefighters on duty.

"When you staff stations, the response time is better," Kreher said.

Kreher added there also has been improvement in the villages' water systems and hydrants during time period.

"We're very pleased about [the rating]," Kreher said. "I just hope we're able to maintain it."

The ISO ratings go into effect on July 1, the news release said.

There are less than 3,000 departments around the country that have an ISO rating of 3 or better. There are 46,000 with a four or worse, the news release said.

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