Fire service successful in accreditation


South Dundas Fire and Emergency Services recently underwent a formal accreditation process to grade the fire service’s ability to protect the community. 

This accreditation could have a positive impact on insurance rates for South Dundas property owners who live within eight kilometers of a fire station.

October 8, the Municipality of South Dundas announced that South Dundas Fire and Emergency Services is now formally accredited to deliver Alternative Water Supply for Public Fire Protection via Superior Tanker Shuttle Service by the Fire Underwriters Survey.

Accredited Superior Tanker Service is a recognized equivalency to hydrant protection for those residents of the community who are not in an area serviced by hydrants, and a located within 8 km of a fire station.

The Fire Underwriters conducted an assessment of each area of South Dundas’ fire defences, primarily for fire insurance grading and classification purposes.

This accreditation is achieved through an assessment of the documentation process, of the availability of the water supply, of the fleet and through actual testing.

South Dundas Fire Chief Chris McDonough has been working towards this accreditation process for two years. 

Part of that work has been organizing equipment purchases and putting them in the appropriate locations to benefit the community through accreditation.

“Council has been very supportive in allowing me to move forward with equipment purchases that have helped make this happen,” said McDonough, adding that now, the community could see some benefit through their insurance rates.

McDonough couldn’t say enough about the performance of the firefighters in the shuttle test, where they had to be able to supply 200 gallons per minute for two hours.

“Our guys were awesome,” said McDonough, who added that the person administering the test told him their performance was one of the best he had ever seen. “We have a great crew. They work really well together,” said McDonough.    

Along with the improvements to tanker shuttle service, all three stations received an improved dwelling protection grade from the Underwriters. 

Prior to this, South Dundas had no formal accreditation, now they have a 3bS dwelling protection grade. This grade is on a scale of 1-5.

The grade is an assessment of the fire protection available for small buildings such as single-family dwellings. It reflects the ability of a community to handle fires in small buildings, and is used by Personal Lines insurers.

As part of their assessment, Fire Underwriters also reviewed the Public Fire Protection Classification, a numerical grading system that is used by Commercial Lines insurers. 

The PFPC grading system evaluates the ability of a community’s fire protection programs to prevent and control major fires that may occur in multi-family residential, commercial, industrial, institutional buildings, and construction developments.

In this area, South Dundas went from having no formal classification to a 5-6 classification for the Morrisburg area on a scale of 1-10.

South Dundas officials suggest that business and individual property owners inquire with their insurers to determine if these new assessments have an impact on their insurance rates.

Fire Underwriters Survey is a national organization that represents more than 85 per cent of the private sector casualty insurers in Canada. Fire Underwriters Survey provides data to program subscribers regarding public fire protection for fire insurance statistical and underwriting evaluation.

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