ISO Mitigation SLIDERS v04 CommunityFire

Spring 2017
Welcome to Community Fire Protection News...

Welcome to Community Fire Protection News, our online newsletter for the fire service, insurers, building officials, water professionals, and emergency responders. We provide concise and topical community mitigation and insurance news and more.

CFP News is a joint publication of Verisk Insurance Solutions and its ISO Community Hazard Mitigation business. In this issue, we focus on water resources—a vital topic for firefighters and municipalities—with a look to the future as well. We start with a discussion about the critical relationship between fire departments and water providers. Then we interview Fire Chief Michael R. Duyck, EFO, CFO, MIFireE, of Tualatin Valley (Oregon) Fire & Rescue and talk about water resources, cancer in the fire service, and the future of the service. Next we go to Bozeman, Montana and a discussion with John Alston, water superintendent for the Bozeman Water Department, about fire hydrant maintenance in a cold environment. Other articles feature important information on fighting fires on buildings with solar panels, our Building Code Effectiveness Grading Schedule (BCEGS®) presentation schedule for 2017, and a special tribute to the late Dr. Harry Hickey, a pioneering member of the mitigation community and dear friend to ISO Community Hazard Mitigation.

This issue includes many industry updates and insights. We hope you’ll find our latest information useful in your own efforts to keep people and property safe against fire and other catastrophes.


Robert L. Andrews
Vice President and Chief Field Operations Officer
Verisk Insurance Solutions

fire hydrant thumbImagine the following scenario: Firefighters are dispatched to a local residence where fire is showing from the second-story front window. Arriving on the scene, the firefighters begin to evaluate potential water sources, spot a fire hydrant on the street, and head toward it to establish a water supply. As they reach the hydrant, they realize it’s not operational—it’s completely consumed by a tree and vegetation! They’ll be lucky if they can open just one of the outlets, especially after noting a red tag displaying “out of service” in faded letters.

Mike Duyck tnBy all accounts, the fire service is in the midst of a revolution driven by many factors, such as better risk reduction programs, new technology, changing fire risks, and health concerns. Fire departments must adapt to these changes to fulfill their mission of protecting communities. To get his perspective on the future of the fire service, Community Fire Protection News interviewed Fire Chief Michael R. Duyck, EFO, CFO, MIFireE, of Tualatin Valley (Oregon) Fire & Rescue (TVF&R).

Hydrant care in extreme cold: How they handle it in Bozeman, MontanaFire hydrants located in geographic areas that experience severe and prolonged winter climate conditions need additional attention to prevent failure. Making sure of their operation year round requires constant maintenance and a comprehensive fire flow testing program. As national water resources manager for ISO Community Hazard Mitigation, I’m privileged to travel the country and work with water resource professionals and emergency services departments on a wide range of water issues—and hydrants are a primary topic.

HickeyCommunity Fire Protection News would like to pay our respects to a good friend of ISO and the mitigation community. Dr. Harry E. Hickey passed away on January 29, 2017. Dr. Hickey was an important member of the fire service community and a tireless advocate for effective fire protection for insurers and property owners alike. He served in multiple key roles in the fire service, and his career spanned 52 years.

solar panelsThere are more than 1.3 million photovoltaic (PV) solar systems installed in homes and businesses nationwide, with 1.2 million of them on residential buildings. And the number is growing. The systems produce renewable energy through rooftop solar panels and are part of the green building movement. Renewable energy sources offer many benefits, but also present some additional safety considerations for firefighters.

bcegsOne of the many services ISO’s Building Code Effectiveness Grading Schedule (BCEGS®) program provides is presentations around the country on the program, how it works, and the importance of the classifications to community stakeholders. We do about 20 presentations a year and speak with building industry groups, floodplain managers, emergency managers, building officials, municipal officials, and others.

you make the callHaving a reliable water supply to meet the basic fire flow needs of a community is a major factor in determining that community’s Public Protection Classification (PPC).