CENTRAL WHIDBEY ISLAND FIRE & RESCUE

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Fire Insurance Ratings

Protection Class Reports

Coupeville
Unincorporated Areas

The Washington Surveying & Rating Bureau (WSRB) is an independent, non-profit public service organization that evaluates all Washington cities and fire districts for their fire protection/suppression capabilities. This evaluation is done using a rating schedule approved by the state Office of Insurance Commissioner.

Fire Protection System

A community’s fire protection system is comprised of many different components. As illustrated in Figure 1, four major components of the community fire protection system are considered when the WSRB determines the fire insurance protection classification rating: Water supply, the fire district, fire safety control, and emergency communications (WSRB, 2013).

wsrb rating elements

Figure 1. WSRB Public Protection Rating Schedule

* Hydrant testing is a shared responsibility between the Fire District and Water Systems.

The community's fire protection system includes building and fire codes, inspections to ensure code compliance, public and private water supplies and fire hydrants, emergency reporting and communications, and the fire suppression capabilities of the fire district. As illustrated above, we partner with Island County, the Town of Coupeville, the Island County Emergency Communications Center (ICOM), and the 25 water systems within the district. Examples of these partnerships include providing fire inspection services to the Town of Coupeville and Island County through an intergovernmental agreement and working with the water systems to ensure that fire hydrants are inspected and flow tested in accordance with the WSRB schedule.

WSRB provides credit for the fire district’s demonstrated ability to provide firefighting water supply using water tenders (fire apparatus with a large water tank and pump). Properties that are not within 1000’ of a fire hydrant receive a rating that is one class higher, for example from Class 6 to Class 7 (WSRB, 2013). In order to receive tender credit, the District have the capability to respond to an emergency incident location within 10 minutes, develop a water flow rate of a minimum of 250 gallons per minute (gpm) within 5 minutes of arrival, and the ability to sustain that flow rate for a minimum of 30 minutes (WSRB, 2013).

Public Protection Classification

In examining the fire protection system, the WSRB assesses deficiency points in each category based on the Public Protection Rating Schedule (WSRB, 2013).

Category

Possible Deficiency Points

Coupeville

Outside Town

Points

%

Points

%

Water Supply

1450

186

87%

787

46%

Fire District

1950

990

49%

990

49%

Communications

450

70

84%

70

84%

Fire Safety Control

650

256

61%

519

20%

Divergence

 

0.27

 

0.00

 
           

Protection Class Score (Unrounded) & Class (Rounded)

3.53

4

5.35

6

Table 1. CWIFR WSRB Public Protection Classification Scores

Note: This table was adapted from Protection Class Report for: Coupeville (WSRB, 2015a) and Protection Class Report for: Island County #5 (WSRB, 2015b).

Distance from Fire Hydrants

Residential structures that are within seven miles of a fire station and more than 1000’ from a fire hydrant receive a Protection Classification one level higher than those that are within 1000’ of a hydrant. For example, in areas of the District outside the Town of Coupeville, residential buildings that are more than 1000’ from a fire hydrant have a Protection Class of 7, while those within 1000’ of a hydrant have a Protection Class of 6.

Ongoing Improvement

In the 2015 rating by the WSRB, both the Town of Coupeville and unincorporated areas of the District saw a one class improvement in fire insurance rating. Major factors impacting this improvement were collaboration with the Town of Coupeville and water system operators to improved fire hydrant inspection and testing, establishment of an Interlocal agreement with Island County to provide fire inspection services in support of the county’s Planning and Development Department, and improvements in apparatus, equipment and tactical capability.

WSRB assessed deficiency points in a wide range of areas directly influenced by the District. Major factors included staffing (department and company), and training. As fire insurance public protection rating is based on a specified schedule, the District has worked with WSRB following the 2015 rating process to identify potential improvements that provide cost effective benefit to the community. These include:

  • Increase in volunteer staffing (an ongoing initiative)
  • Improvement in the number of documented training hours
  • Continuation of fire and life safety inspections in the areas of the District outside the Town of Coupeville (to provide the required three years of inspection data)
  • Continuation of the fire hose replacement program to reduce the average age of fire hose used by the District
  • Exploration of increased use of automatic aid on residential and commercial fire responses
  • Increase in the range and number of public education programs
  • Expansion of the District’s home safety survey program
  • Implement Geographic Information System based pre-incident planning

The WSRB public protection classification may have a significant impact on the fire insurance premiums paid by District property owners. However, it is not a full and complete assessment of the effectiveness, efficiency, and quality of services provided by the District. The WSRB does not assess emergency wildland firefighting, medical, rescue, or other services as they are unrelated to the process of establishing a rating for fire insurance purposes.

Our Mission

Central Whidbey Island Fire & Rescue’s mission defines our purpose for existence:  to partner with our community to proactively reduce risk from fire, illness, injury and other hazards.

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1164 Race Road
Coupeville, WA 98239

(360) 678-3602 (voice)
(360) 6785616 (fax)

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