MFD improvements recognized

Chelsea Peck

The Morton Fire Department has been improving, and the Insurance Services Office’s Public Protection Classification Program noticed.

The fire department’s rating, which helps insurance companies establish premiums for residential and commercial properties, improved from a Class 5 to a Class 4.

This is the second improvement that has happened under Fire Chief Joe Kelley.

The ISO rating is checked every 10 years. In 2000, the fire department improved from a Class 6 to a Class 5.

“In 2000, we had made changes in apparatus. We replaced trucks that were getting old, and the water supply then and now is not only for household use but for high capacity firefighter use,” Kelley said.

In the last 10 years, the department has put together a plan for fire station distribution, which is aimed to lower response times.

The new fire station on Courtland was the product of that plan.

Kelley said they also made improvements in equipment.

“It’s a reflection of our responsibility and that’s what’s important. This rating is the only recognized assessment of fire response capability,” Kelley said.

Kelley said insurance companies use the ratings to determine rates for the area.

“Insurance for fire at home is fairly affordable. But, for a business it could be a different story,” Kelley said. “Everyone benefits from it in some way.”

Being a volunteer, or paid on call, fire department also adds to the honor.

“It’s something we can all be proud of and we’ve put attention in the right places,” Kelley said. “It’s nice when an outside party confirms we’re doing the right things.”

The ISO rating also improved for areas outside the village such as Groveland. The rating improved from a Class 9 to a Class 8.