For the Reporter
Since its inception, the Valley Regional Fire Authority (VRFA) has been working to enhance the delivery of services to residents.
The Washington Surveying and Rating Bureau (WSRB) just released the grades for the communities that VRFA serves, illustrating improvement in the entire service area. In Auburn, the grading process led to an improvement of their fire insurance classification. This should result in lower insurance rates for commercial and residential property owners, effective Jan. 1.
Auburn residents and commercial building owners should contact their insurance agent or insurance company to request a review of their policy, which may lead to a reduction in their fire insurance premium.
“With support from our board of governance, the water purveyors, and our communities, we have made responsible investments in our equipment and staffing, and improvements in our programs that have led to a reduction in our response times and increases in our capabilities,” said Eric Robertson, VRFA administrator. “Those efforts, coupled with the increased reliability of our water systems, directly impacted the improvement to our WSRB grades.”
Auburn received the greatest increase in its grade, with Algona, Pacific and King County Fire District 31 demonstrating improvements. Auburn improvement led to a rating change by the WSRB, to Protection Class 3 from their previous Protection Class of 4. Protection Classes, on a scale of one to 10 – with one being the best – are adjusted when grade point benchmarks are achieved.
The WSRB reviews fire response capabilities, available firefighting equipment, staffing levels at each station, firefighter training levels, commercial building inspection programs, water supplies and other critical elements which lend to reduction in a communities fire risk.
Additional information regarding the WSRB and the VRFA’s Protection Class rating may be found at vrfa.org or by calling the VRFA’s Technical Services Division at 253-288-5870.