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Hugo Neighborhood Association & Historical Society

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Issues:  Challenges of Forming a County-WIde RFPD
Issues: The Details
Issues:  An Informed Public

 

QUALITY OF FIRE PROTECTION

Brochure 4A of 16 in Rural Fire Protection Brochure Series

May 22, 2008
by
Exploratory Committee

"Unprotected Area"

Unprotected Area Large County areas not within boundaries of existing rural fire protection districts (RFPD’s) and outside of city limits are designated "unprotected" in the 2004 Josephine County Integrated Fire Plan (JCIFP). This large area designates the wild land county areas that may or may not have structures. These rural and urban county areas with structures can be protected by formation of local RFPD’s, paid for by a voter approved permanent tax rate on property within that district.

Unprotected Neighborhoods There are 12 neighborhoods (i.e., county citizen advisory areas) identified as communities at risk in the "unprotected area" (JCIFP): 1. Colonial Valley, 2.Fort Vannoy, 3. Fruitdale-Harbeck, 4. Hugo, 5. Jones Creek, 6. Jumpoff Joe, 7. Lower Applegate, 8. Murphy, 9. North Valley (includes Merlin), 10. Redwood, 11. Shan Creek, and 12. Sunny Valley.

While these 12 neighborhoods are not within a fire taxing district they do have fire services provided by private corporations that act as "fire departments".

1. Rural Metro Fire Department (ISO Class 4/10 - Class 4 within 1,000' of a hydrant; ISO 6/9 within 5 miles of a fire station; ISO 6/10 outside of 5 miles).

2. Inland Fire Protection Agency (ISO 9/10).

3. Grants Pass Rural Fire Department (ISO 10).

Quality Of Fire Protection

RFPD’s Outside of city limits RFPD’s are formed by voter approval to deliver structural fire protection service within a certain part of their county. Josephine County has four existing RFPD’s

• Applegate RFPD #9 (ISO Class 6/9)

• Illinois Valley RFPD (ISO Class7/10)

• Williams RFPD (ISO Class 7/10)

• Wolf Creek RFPD (ISO Class 7/10)

Quality of Fire Protection The ISO (Insurance Service Office) is a nationwide service organization that helps establish appropriate fire insurance premiums for residential and commercial properties; insurance companies need reliable, up-to-date information about a community’s fire-protection services. There is no charge to local fire departments for this ISO service.

Class 10 indicates that the area’s fire-suppression program does not meet ISO minimum criteria.

By classifying Communities’ ability to suppress fires, ISO helps communities evaluate their public fire-protection services. The objective is to recognize the impact that effective public fire protection has on individual property fire insurance rates. Citizens are concerned about the quality of structural fire protection service that is available to prevent loss of property, life or personal injury by fire.

ISO Ratings

ISO Ratings The ISO classification ratings provide a recognized, nation wide standard for comparison of the quality of fire protection service delivered by public RFPD’s, city or privately owned fire depart-ments. A public protection classification from 1 to 10 is assigned. ISO Class 1 represents exemplary public protection, and Class 10 indicates that the area’s fire-suppression program does not meet ISO minimum criteria. A Class 10 also results for locations in remote areas at a distance greater than five miles from a fire station.

Except by ISO classifications, the fire community has not evaluated the difference between the quality of fire protection service delivered by public RFPD’s verus private fire departments.

Meaningful public involvement and, therefore, an "informed public" and "informed decision-makers" need relevant facts. For example, it is easy to distinguish between the legal responsibilities of RFPD’s versus private fire departments. However, when compared to costs, do these regulations, differences, or accountability standards, translate into a different quality of fire protection provided? Public distribution of fire department performance standards promotes an "informed public" who can cast their votes based on relevant facts. Comparisons can even be drawn between large or small public RFPD’s and private fire departments.

RFPD Exploratory Committee’s Mission

Mission An independent Rural Fire Protection District (RFPD) Exploratory Committee (Exploratory Committee) to investigate the potential for forming a RFPD in the general Merlin-Hugo region was formed in the fall of 2007.

Big picture ideas for the exploratory effort include the following.

1. Identifying a range of boundaries for potential RFPD(s).

2. Identifying a range in level of services from potential RFPD(s).

3. Identifying a range of fees or assessments for services from potential RFPD(s).

4. Identifying revenues for services from potential RFPD(s).

The ultimate goal is a higher level of fire protection service for a lower cost.

The purpose of the Exploratory Committee is to gather information adequate enough to understand the rules/process to form a potential RFPD (i.e., rules, difficulty, pros and cons, levels of service, fees/ assessments, elections, etc.). This includes educational outreach efforts.

The Exploratory Committee’s purpose is limited to investigating and researching the potential (i.e., merits and liabilities) for forming a RFPD. Other potential actions will be considered and acted upon by other entities after the Exploratory Committee’s purpose has ended.

The contents of this brochure are expressions of the opinions and beliefs of those that contribute based on their thoughts and experiences and are not presented for any other purpose.

- Donations Are Not Tax Deductible -

Edited by Exploratory Committee

http://www.jeffnet.org/~hugo/existing1.htm

1. More information is provided in the Exploratory Committee’s educational outreach program of 16 brochures.

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2012 Hugo Neighborhood Association & Historical Society