Excellence: Fire Department rating helps us all

Parkersburg residents are fortunate to live in a city where first responders are constantly working to improve their ability to serve and protect. That commitment to excellence received a little recognition recently, when Insurance Services Office Inc. issued a Public Protection Classification rating of 3 (on a 1 to 10 scale, with 1 being the best) for the Parkersburg Fire Department — up from 4.

“I think it says that we’re committed to providing a high level of service to the citizens of Parkersburg and we want to continue to do that,” said Fire Chief Jason Matthews. The rating takes into account the department’s response time, manpower, equipment and training; as well as available water supply and emergency communications. That means the Parkersburg Utility Board and Wood County 911 Center are also to be commended for their good work.

Of course, Matthews pointed out every member of the fire department deserves credit for not only doing their jobs well enough to merit the improved rating, but for properly recording everything and gathering the data that would be reflected in the classification.

Their hard work could mean lower insurance premiums for some residents, as companies often offer better rates to those living in areas with better fire protection.

“I think it’s great news for the city and great news for the property owners,” said Parkersburg Mayor Tom Joyce.

Indeed, it is. Congratulations to the Fire Department, Utility Board and Wood County 911 Center for their hard work to make it happen.