Fire Station No. 7 is coming along, despite some rainy weather in January. Located on Skillern Boulevard near the Wichita Trail intersection, brick work was recently completed and the general contractor indicated they should be close to dry-in by mid-February. It is anticipated they should be substantially complete by late spring or early summer.
Have you ever wondered why so many fire trucks respond to a fire? The Flower Mound Fire Department’s emergency responses are guided by two organizations: the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) and the Insurance Services Office (ISO). For example, when a single-family home is on fire, the NFPA states the first fire engine should arrive within four minutes and the remaining response crew should arrive within eight minutes, 90 percent of the time. If the situation dictates a one-alarm response, a total of four fire engines, two medic units, a ladder truck, and approximately 21 fire personnel will be on-scene.
These guidelines for response times and types are one of the main driving forces behind the construction of Fire Station No. 7. The new station will greatly improve response times to that area of Town and help meet ISO standards that require a pumper engine company within 1.5 road miles and a ladder truck company within 2.5 road miles. The new Engine 507 will assist in meeting the distance requirements, while the new Tiller ladder truck (Truck 505) will serve as the second truck company. Both of these additions will assist in improving the Fire Department’s ISO rating. A Fire Department receives an ISO between 10 and 1, with 1 being the best.
The ISO rating, or fire score, indicates how well a fire department can protect your home and community. Insurance companies use the score to help set home insurance rates, as it is cheaper to insure a home that is less likely to be severely damaged/destroyed by fire. The ISO visits municipalities, including Flower Mound, and evaluates various aspects of a city and its fire department.
Flower Mound’s current ISO rating is 2, the best it’s ever been, and we are working toward a Class 1 ISO rating. There are only approximately 200 cities across the U.S. with a Class 1 ISO rating, out of roughly 50,000 ISO-audited fire departments. There is little or no difference in homeowner insurance rates for residents who are served by a Class 1 versus Class 2 Fire Department. The benefits are noticed most in commercial insurance rates, which could be a valuable economic development tool.
In other facility construction news, the Library expansion is still on-schedule. Crews are laying brick on the north half and once that is complete, they will install brick pavers on the patios. Workers are also installing on ductwork, the fire protection sprinkler system, decking, and more for the expected December 2020 completion.
In January, our newest Citizens Academy kicked off. During the 10 week course, participants learn about how their local government serves residents from the Town’s various departments and divisions. Employees prepare short presentations, conduct facility tours, and organize in-session activities for attendees. They meet once a week, with most sessions on Tuesdays, ending with a graduation ceremony during a Town Council meeting. It is free to Flower Mound residents and business owners, 18-years and older, who are able to commit to a minimum of eight out of the 10 sessions. I’m pleased to say the class fills up fairly quickly, so be on the lookout to sign-up next November if this is something you’re interested in.
If you have any questions, please feel free to reach out to me at [email protected].