Jefferson County Fire District #1 has worked very hard to provide the best service and value for the small permanent tax rate ($1.1847 per $1,000 of assessed value) that is levied on each assessable property within the fire district. For example, a $200,000 home pays $237 a year for fire protection.
Every 4-5 years the fire district undergoes an assessment of our fire protection ability by an independent company called ISO (Insurance Services Office). ISO collects information useful in many aspects of insurance underwriting. That information includes evaluations of public fire protection. Information on municipal services helps the communities with their efforts to manage and mitigate their risk.
ISO performs the evaluations as a service to the insurance industry and do not charge a fee to the communities. Through the Public Protection Classification (PPC™) program, ISO evaluates municipal fire-protection efforts in communities throughout the United States. A community's investment in fire mitigation is a proven and reliable predictor of future fire losses. So insurance companies use PPC information to help establish fair premiums for fire insurance — generally offering lower premiums in communities with better protection. Many communities use the PPC as a benchmark for measuring the effectiveness of their fire-protection services. The PPC program is also a tool that helps communities plan for, budget, and justify improvements.
A community with a rating of a 1 is considered elite and a 10 is essentially not protected effectively. The fire district was re-rated by ISO in 2017. As Fire Chief for the last 5 years, I am proud to announce through hard work, the fire district has lowered the district's fire protection ratings from a 5/8B to a 3 for any property within 5 road miles of our 2 fire stations. We could not have accomplished this without the commitment by our volunteers to attend many hours of their free time away from family and friends attending training and of course responding to emergencies. We also could not have accomplished this without the excellent partnership with Deschutes Valley Water District, who is the main water purveyor for our fire district. The Cities of Madras, Metolius and Culver are also excellent partners with fire hydrant maintenance, public education, fire protection engineering and fire code enforcement.
Please contact your insurance agent if you live within 5 road miles of a Jefferson County Fire District #1 fire station and request them to re-rate your fire insurance premiums. You should expect a fairly significant decrease in your rates. Please let the fire district know what decreases in insurance rates you have received.
JULY 2017-FIRES & SAFETY REMINDERS
Jefferson County Fire District #1 has responded to 21 wildland fires since the middle of June. We have also responded to 2 structure fires during that time. Both structure fires occurred during the heat of the day with temperatures over 90 degrees. When both structure fires occurred, the fire district was already fighting other wildland fires. The fire district would like ask our citizens to have a conversation with their families and friends about fire safety and how the risk of igniting a fire increases greatly during hot and dry weather. We are seeing cigarette caused fires around structures. Please remind each other to only discard ashes from hot materials into a metal container that is away from other combustible materials such as combustible decks and siding. We are seeing fires starting from sunlight refraction on shiny objects and through glass. Please check your properties for these types of things around and near combustibles such as dry grasses. We are also seeing fires from yard debris and landscaping materials. As yard debris and landscaping materials break down, the process creates heat. In an already hot and dry environment it greatly increases the chances of this material creating enough heat to cause a fire if left too close to other dry combustible material. If you see a fire please call 911 to report it and then, if you can do so safely, try to put the fire out. This will become even more important during the weekend and week of the upcoming solar eclipse in August. Please keep your property well irrigated and be prepared with water and shovels etc. to protect your own property and neighbors if can do so safely as all emergency services are ramping up with personnel but are expected to be extremely busy and possibly overwhelmed by emergencies. Expect delays in response times. Cell phone systems are expected to possibly be overwhelmed so also have a back up plan for your family in case you cannot get out to 911.