When Turbo Design owner Paul Tooley, a veteran firefighter and computer consultant, set out to improve his volunteer fire department’s Insurance Services Office Inc. (ISO®) rating, he first had to familiarize himself with the complex Fire Suppression Rating Schedule designed by ISO®.
The Fire Suppression Rating Schedule (FSRS) is a manual containing the criteria ISO® uses in reviewing the fire prevention and fire suppression capabilities of individual communities or fire protection areas. The schedule measures the major elements of a community’s fire protection system and develops a numerical grading called a Public Protection Classification (PPC™) on a scale of 1 to 10, with 1 representing the highest standard.
As chief of the Truth or Consequences Volunteer Fire Department, Tooley spent three years, compiling countless amounts of data related to the fire department’s operations and resources, and on April 1, 2014, his efforts paid off.
The fire department, located in one of the smaller towns in the American Southwest, became the first volunteer fire department in the state of New Mexico to obtain an ISO® Class 2 rating, from a previous rating of Class 5.
Along the way, Tooley employed his 30-plus years’ experience as a firefighter, including eight years as fire chief, and his extensive background in computer programming and consulting to develop his own software designed to simplify the process for other communities looking to improve their own ISO® rating.
That resulted in the launching of an exclusive consulting service with information available nationwide at www.isorating.com
Tooley designed his software around ISO®’s FSRS, coming up with a tool that allows him to evaluate a community’s communication systems, fire department, water system and risk reduction, showing them where and how they can improve their ISO® rating, all in accordance with ISO®’s rigid structure.
“When you look through the Fire Suppression Rating Schedule and what ISO® does, it’s very complicated,” Tooley says. “When you mention ISO® around the fire service, everybody’s kind of, oh my gosh, I don’t want them here, because there is so much that has to be done, especially for small, rural volunteer fire departments with limited personnel and resources. However, if you apply the schedule the proper way, you will become a better fire department.”
“When ISO® comes in, they collect the data, plug it into the software and out comes a number,” Tooley says. “The Fire Suppression Rating Schedule is available to the public for a fee. So I came up with a solution, basically the same solution they have. Turbo Design can be reached at (575) 740-1640; email@example.com or www.isorating.com.