By Liz Shepherd
WARSAW — In the last 20 years, Warsaw-Wayne Fire Territory’s Public Protection Classification has improved, resulting in insurance savings for properties within Wayne Township.
Battalion Chief Aaron Bolinger presented information on the Insurance Services Office (ISO) Public Protection Classification to the WWFT Board during a Jan. 5 meeting. Bolinger said he believes the fire territory used to have a PPC of 7 under Fire Chief Warren; as of 2020, the classification is a 2.
The ISO Public Protection Classification collects and analyzes data on municipal fire-protection efforts. Through those numbers, ISO then assigns a PPC from 1 to 10, with a 1 typically representing superior property fire protection and a 10 showing the area’s fire-suppression program doesn’t meet ISO’s minimum criteria.
“It really doesn’t go far enough to explain what four fire chiefs over the last 20 years have done for the community,” said Bolinger about the classification packet provided to board members. “This was a vision starting out with Chief Warren, through Chief Rice, Chief Brubaker and then with Chief Wilson.”
Bolinger said one aspect that could be improved to boost the fire territory’s next classification is keeping better track of responding times for all fire and medical personnel.
“Right now, our systems in place do not track times for everyone very well,” said Bolinger. “They track times for just one unit. If we can break these times out better, we will see a better score under that.”
Warsaw Mayor Joe Thallemer said the fire territory’s rating was actually announced in August 2020 but that it was an end-of-the-year accomplishment that Chief Mike Wilson wanted on the agenda. Wilson was not present at the board’s January meeting.
“We get a lot of calls asking where people’s property falls in relation to our fire department because they know they get a lower (insurance) rate,” said Bolinger. “It’s huge when you look at your fire department as far as industry goes.”
“That’s all good stuff and I think it was good to bring that out and make sure that didn’t go unnoticed this year,” said Thallemer.
In other business, Thallemer gave the oath of office to three members of the fire territory board. Those members are Warsaw Common Councilman Mike Klondaris; Wayne Township Trustee Jeanie Stackhouse; and Brandon Schmitt, independent community member and former WWFT firefighter. Fire territory board member Gordon Nash was absent.
Thallemer was not sworn in during the meeting since the fire territory’s attorney was not present; due to this, Thallemer did not vote on any motions presented at the meeting.
The board’s next meeting is at 4 p.m. Tuesday, Feb. 2.