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To Members of Council, Residents and Business Owners in Northfield,

Northfield Village Fire Department is thrilled to release the results of our recent ISO evaluation that occurred in March of 2018.  The fire department was last evaluated in April of 2014, and received a rating of 3 on a 1-10 scale (Lower is Better) at that time.  Our new rating is a 2.  This ranks us in the top 3% of fire departments in the country! The improvement in rating may lead to decreases in insurances premiums that all village residents and business owners pay.  The new rating will take effect October 1, 2018.

The improvement in fire department classification would not have been possible without a number factors over the past years.  Mayor Nehez and council showed tremendous support to the fire department in allowing them to acquire much needed training, equipment and manpower.  Daily staffing was increased to three firefighters 24/7 in 2013.  Additionally, a part time fire chief working 20 hours a week and a fire prevention officer working 12 hours a week were also added.  NVFD has also improved its overall staffing level and recall procedures to enhance emergency response.  NVFD has added full time firefighters.  These positions were a major factor in improving the department’s classification.

The addition of a dedicated part time fire chief and full time firefighters has allowed the department to operate much more efficiently.  Records are kept more accurately, tasks and maintenance are completed in a more timely fashion, and oversight exist on day to day operations to ensure smooth delivery of services.  By being well organized, the ISO evaluators were presented with all the required testing records, documents, maintenance records and files to be used to help determine the department’s classification.

Northfield Village Fire Department also greatly improved the classification due to increases in fire prevention and public education programs.  NVFD added a part time fire inspection program to ensure all village businesses were inspected.  They also conducted building plan reviews, fire protection systems testing oversight and annual fire inspections.  Public information was increased through the creation of the department’s Facebook page (1300+ followers) and contributions to the Village’s newsletter.  Fire safety information being provided to the public and businesses increases the safety of all of our residents and visitors.  This education is highly valued by ISO and in turn helped us achieve a better final classification.

In addition to the manpower, training and fire prevention, Northfield Village Fire Department has Automatic Mutual Aid Agreements with Macedonia, Oakwood, Twinsburg, Boston Heights and Valley Fire Departments for all confirmed incidents.  By automatically responding to fire alarm calls and training together, all departments in the area have received a boost in their ISO classification.

Summary of Results

New ISO Classification – 2

  • NVFD scored in the top 1565 Fire Departments out of 46,042 departments nationwide
    -This equates to scoring in the top 3% in the country, ahead of the other 97%
  • Base ISO score improved from a 46.28 to a 79.34 in 2013
  • Base ISO score improved again from a 79.34 to a 87.31 in 2018 (10% Increase)
    • NVFD score increase are due to increased training, deployment and staffing
    • Improved scores should help lower commercial property insurance rates
  • Communications Score improved from a 8.4 to 8.8 out of 10 possible points
  • Fire Department Overall Score improved from a 32.91 to 38.27 out of 50 possible points
  • Water Supply Score remained unchanged from a 40 to 40 out of 40 possible points
  • Fire Prevention / Education improved from a 4.87 to 4.93 out of a possible 5.5 points
  • Divergence decreased from 6.84 to 4.93 (It’s a fire department “handicap”, lower is better. Future improvements could be achieved by adding manpower and vehicles).

Again, I would like to thank Mayor Nehez, the council, and the residents in supporting us and making this possible.  Furthermore, I would like to thank our firefighters and fire officers on their dedicated service to the public.  It is them that faithfully and professionally serve, and this improvement in classification shows the fruits of their hard work and expertise. We truly have a world class fire department in Northfield Village.

If you have any question regarding this improvement, please feel free to contact me at anytime

Respectfully Submitted,
Jason L Buss
Fire Chief
Northfield Village Fire Department