Tempe Fire Medical Rescue’s top rating could cut fire insurance rates

Commentary by Jennifer Adams of Tempe City Council

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Did you know that Tempe homeowners and businesses could save money on insurance, thanks to a new national rating that puts Tempe Fire Medical Rescue among the top 1 percent of all fire departments in the United States?

It is true. Tempe is celebrating its upgrade from a Class 2 rating to a Class 1 rating from the Insurance Services Office.

This nationally recognized review of a fire department’s capabilities is used by insurers in underwriting and to calculate premiums for fire insurance.

As many of you know, I always strive to find opportunities to save our residents money.

In fact, I visited with my insurance agent and we are able to save $70 a year because of this ISO 1 rating. Check with your insurance provider to see if this will positively impact your rates.

I would like to take time to go beyond that very exciting ‘headline’ and give you some of the backstory of how and why this has been possible. Hopefully you will feel as proud to be a Tempe resident as I was when I heard this information.

Tempe Fire Medical Rescue’s rating reflects on the quality of department operations, emergency dispatch and the water distribution system supplied by Tempe’s Municipal Utilities Department.

The Class 1 rating was achieved through improvements in community risk reduction, training, communications and the collaborative work with Tempe’s water team and other city departments.

The Water Utilities Division of the Municipal Utilities Department deserves a great deal of praise for their contributions to this effort as it relates to the excellent water service we provide our community.

One key factor that played into our new rating was how Water Utilities completely reformed our process for ensuring that fire hydrants around Tempe are in good working order.

Prior to 2018, the city’s system of 9,222 fire hydrants was not in the shape it should have been, as I had discussed with residents during my campaign.

With positive management changes, Water Utilities worked hard to develop a proactive system of inspections, repairs and replacements, including implementing a new mobile technology to track the work. Each hydrant was serviced between January 2018 and June 2019, and the city established new procedures to enable the entire system to be serviced every two years.

Tempe is one of 13 fire departments in Arizona to have the ISO 1 rating, as well as International Fire Accreditation, Emergency Management Accreditation Program certification and ACE accreditation (911/ Communications Center).

It is one of just 96 departments in the country to be both accredited and rated ISO 1.

Tempe Fire Medical Rescue works hard every day to protect life and property, to mitigate risks and to serve our residents with distinction.

For more details about the department, visit tempe.gov/fire and follow them on Facebook (TempeFireMedicalRescue).

As always, I welcome you reaching out to me as well. Contact me by phone at 480-350-8835 or via email at jennifer_adams@tempe.gov. You can also follow me on my City Council Facebook account (JenniferAdamsTempe).




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