On October 8th the Menlo Park Firefighters Association Union (District 10 of IAFF Local 2400) distributed a newsletter to its members and posted it on its website and Facebook page. It was titled “The coming of fall raises at least two important fire related issues,” and contains a factually incorrect statement that deeply concerns me.
The newsletter states that “in 2004, the Insurance Services Office (ISO), the group that rates fire departments across the country, lowered the rating for the Menlo Park Fire Department. This means that our safety rating was lowered and your insurance premiums went up.”
This is not true. The ISO did not lower its safety rating for the Menlo Park Fire Protection District. The District was classified as a Class 3 prior to and after the ISO evaluation in 2004. (The ISO’s “Public Protection Classification” is based on a scale of 1 to 10, with Class 1 representing the best public protection and Class 10 indicating no recognized protection.)
Any increase in insurance premiums that may have occurred did so independently of the District’s safety rating.
The District continues to view the safety of its operations, and of all the residents we serve, as our number one priority. We continually strive to provide the best service to the community that we can. And, as always, we welcome your questions and feedback.
Harold Schapelhouman, Fire Chief