The New Mexico State University Fire Department has upgraded its rating by the Insurance Services Office from a 3/3X to a 2/2X rating, which is among the top 3 percent in the country.
“The ISO is really the report card for a fire department,” said NMSU Fire Chief Johnny Carrillo. “It rates our response capabilities, our water distribution system and also emergency communication systems.”
The classification by ISO, known as the Public Protection Classification program, assesses the fire-protection efforts in a particular community. ISO collects information on municipal fire-protection efforts in communities throughout the United States. In each of those communities, ISO analyzes the department’s ability to suppress fires.
The program provides a nationally- accepted standard, which means residential, commercial and industrial properties may qualify for lower insurance rates.
NMSU’s rating went from a 5/9 to a 3/3X in 2014 the year after Carrillo was named chief of the unit. This is the second upgrade for NMSU’s Fire Department in four years.
“We’ve made huge progress in our response capability,” Carrillo said. “We went from a five-minute response time to a four-minute response time. We made upgrades to our fire prevention programs. We’ve also improved our building inspections. We inspected more than 300 buildings on campus within a two-year period.”
The NMSU Fire Department began in 1921 as a group of volunteers who worked for the university’s Physical Plant. Today the department has 20 firefighters; it is one of the few departments in the nation with student firefighters.
Currently, NMSU has 14 student firefighters that work shifts from 5 p.m. to 8 a.m. with two full-time firefighters that cover the day shift while students attend classes. NMSU has both a truck company and an engine company.
Because of NMSU’s training, the student firefighters meet the national standards, which would allow them to work for any department across the county.
For more information visit www.fire.nmsu.edu
Author: Minerva Baumann – NMSU