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Poulsbo Fire improves its fire service rating, likely saving citizens money

The Washington Surveying and Rating Bureau (WSRB) has completed their evaluation of the fire protection capabilities, as they relate to fire insurance rating, within Poulsbo and the outlying communities of Kitsap County Fire District 18 Poulsbo Fire Department. The rating for the city of Poulsbo has remained a “Protection Class 4” but the rating for the unincorporated area of District 18, extending from south Keyport, north to the Port Gamble, has been upgraded from a “Protection Class 5,” to a “Protection Class 4.” The ratings go from 1-10 with 1 being the best, and 10 being no fire protection at all.

Battalion Chief Jeff Russell, liaison and coordinator for the Department during WSRB’s comprehensive evaluation process said, “This is really good news, not only for the Department, but especially for our citizens. Fire insurance rates are often based upon these class ratings and seeing this improvement could, in turn, directly benefit our residents’ fire insurance rates.”

The “Protection Class” rating applies to residential and commercial properties located in the community within five road miles of a responding fire station, and the standard of fire hydrant distribution and water supply. Residential properties not meeting the above requirements, receive a different rating based on “Tender Credit.” This is the availability of tender response, rigs that look similar to milk trucks and carry 3,000 gallons of water.

Deputy Chief Bruce Peterson said, “What really helped us this year was the fact that 2015 voter approved bond enabled us to purchase two new engines and equipment, which allowed us to create a reserve engine.”

Peterson added, “Competing training of our responders up to level of Firefighter II, as opposed to the minimum requirement of Firefighter I.

Peterson said, “One of the things I’m most proud of is the fact that we rank in the top 20 percent of the state for our rating. For a small department, that’s pretty impressive.”

Battalion Chief Jeff Russell, who was the liaison from the Department during the audit said, “After our audit five years ago, we gained better direction in how we improve our training, tracking records, and other details that would upgrade our rating and ultimately do a better job for our citizens.”

For more information on individual property ratings, residents may call the WSRB customer service at (206) 217-0101.

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