Metro-East News

Collinsville improves emergency services, private firms says

A private firm has decided that Collinsville made sufficient improvements to its fire protection and emergency services to be designated among the top 8.8 percent of communities.

For residents, this could mean a 2 to 3 percent reduction in insurance premium costs, depending on insurance providers.

The firm, Insurance Services Office, Inc., provides information regarding property and casualty risk to insurance companies through a public protection classification rating. Collinsville moved from a rating of 4 to 3. A rating of 1 is considered best in class.

The firm evaluated Collinsville’s fire department, water department and dispatch/communication center capabilities. The city attributes the lower rating to improvements in its training, hydrant testing and water supply.

According to a news release from the city, a total of 48,754 fire departments across the country were rated by the ISO in 2015, and just 8.8 percent received a rating of 3 or better.

Interim City Manager Mitch Bair said the benefits of a lower rating also extend to attracting and retaining businesses in Collinsville.

“The ISO rating is an important incentive to economic development, but is one that often goes overlooked. It sends the critical message to the development community — both commercially and residentially — that the city is committed to growing and protecting their investment in the city.”

This is the first rating improvement Collinsville has seen since since 2007, when it moved from a 6 to 4. The city is already striving to improve its rating to a 2 through a capital fleet maintenance program, and improved dispatching and emergency vehicle tracking.