Dormont fire department gets higher classification from rating service

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The Dormont Volunteer Fire Department has received an improved rating from Insurance Services Office Inc.

The ISO’s Public Protection Classification Service, which gauges the capability of departments to respond to fires, now rates Dormont at Class 3, with 1 being the top rating.

“That puts us in a very small number of departments through the state that have reached that level,” Jeff Naftal, borough manager, said at Monday’s Dormont council meeting.

The better number for the fire department, which previously had been Class 5, could have a financial benefit for borough residents.

“Some families may save some money when it comes to your insurance,” said Mathew Davis, deputy chief and emergency management coordinator.

The new rating becomes effective Sept. 1.

Mr. Davis said the department is close to attaining a Class 2 rating, which could take place by 2015, and that only about 750 fire departments fire-response jurisdictions nationwide have reached that level.

ISO is an independent organization that serves insurance companies, fire departments, insurance regulators and others by providing information about risk. Criteria for the PPC rating include fire alarm and communications systems; department equipment, staffing and training; and the water supply system, including condition and maintenance of hydrants.

To further enhance the department’s capabilities, council on Monday approved the purchase of an automated external defibrillator for the fire station, at a cost of $2,155. The borough also has AEDs available at the municipal building, the streets department building and the Thomas Lloyd Recreation Center, and police carry the devices in their vehicles.

In other business Monday:

■ Four-year-old Noah Zych was recognized for his assistance to emergency personnel who responded to a May 8 fire near his Crosby Avenue home, in which two firefighters were injured.

According to a proclamation proclaiming June 2 as Noah Zych Day in Dormont, the boy “took it upon himself to provide drinks for the firefighters and paramedics fighting the fire.” The document also encourages “all residents to emulate the young man’s spirit of goodwill and thoughtfulness.”

The Dormont Volunteer Fire Department presented Noah, son of Andrew and Sami Zych, with a service award. He also was presented with a citation from the state House of Representatives by Melissa Shulman, chief of staff for Rep. Dan Miller, D-Mt. Lebanon.

■ Council member Jeff Fabus addressed reports of dissatisfaction with new procedures and regulations implemented this season at Dormont Pool, which now is managed by Ocoee, Fla.-based Jeff Ellis Management.

Mr. Fabus said that Ellis’ priority is “the kids in that pool and all of our patrons are safe. I wanted to stress that and get that across.”

He distributed summary reports of guest surveys filled out on Memorial Day and through June 1, showing that most patrons responded with “good” or “excellent” in categories addressing lifeguards and facility cleanliness.

Some patrons had expressed disappointment with new measures to close one-sixth of the pool area when attendance is 50 people or fewer, along with a requirement for children to wear life vests in the deep end of the pool and elimination of deep-water testing for young swimmers.

Harry Funk, freelance writer:

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