Center Grove VFD picks up lower ISO rating


The Center Grove Volunteer Fire Department recently underwent inspection by the Insurance Service Office` which resulted in a lower ISO rating. A lower ISO rating means potential savings for homeowners and businesses.

According to Center Grove Fire Chief Mike Stokes the new ISO 6 rating will take effect on July 1, 2023. Stokes said, he is very proud of the members who volunteer their time with the fire department.

“I volunteer because I want to help my community and fellow citizen,” said Stokes.

Center Grove Volunteer Fire Department was founded in 1973 and was given a ISO 9 rating. The fire department has not been reviewed until now.

Stokes has been with the Center Grove VFD for 17 years and was elected Chief in 2018.

“I’ve made it my mission to get a lower ISO rating for the fire department as well as the citizens of the Center Grove community we serve,” Stokes said.

Stokes attributed the new rating to updated equipment, equipment records and an emphasis on updating training.

Fire departments receiving an ISO 1 represent an exemplary fire suppression program, while ISO 10 indicate that the fire suppression program does not meet ISOs minimum criteria. The lower a departments ISO rating, the better fire suppression the department has which transfers to lower insurance rating.

ISO’s Public Protection Classification (PPC) Program evaluates communities according to a uniform criteria by incorporating nationally recognized standards developed by the National Fire Protection Association and the American Water Works Association.

A community’s PPC grade depends on four criteria — needed fire flows, emergency communications, fire department, and water supply. Needed fire flows are representative building locations used to determine the theoretical amount of water necessary for fire suppression purposes. Emergency communications includes emergency reporting, telecommunications and dispatching systems. Fire department includes equipment, staffing, training, geographic distribution of fire companies, operation considerations, and community risk reduction. Water Supply includes inspection and flow testing of hydrants, alternative water supply operations, and a careful evaluation of the amount of available water compared with the amount needed to suppress fires up to 3,500 gpm.

Center Grove Fire Department operates two stations. The main station is located at 77 Grant 270027 (7183 Hwy 270 East). The second station is located in the Clearwater Lake area.

There are currently 11 active members of the fire department. Residents are encouraged to volunteer to your neighbor by becoming a volunteer fire fighter. Call 870-942-1565 to find out how you can volunteer. To learn more about the department follow Center Grove Volunteer Fire Department on Facebook.

Center Grove Fire Department assesses $2.25 monthly or $27 per year for fire protection. This amount has been in effect since 1990. The department will be implementing new fire dues of $4.25 per month or $51 per year, which will be collected on patrons water bill or it can be paid in full at Southern Fruit Market on Highway 270 east. Invoices for unpaid dues will be sent out every January. Anyone not current on their fire dues could be subject to a bill for services.

“I’m really pleased with the rating,” Stokes said. “Our people worked hard. My goal in three to five years is to get another review and try improving our rating to a 5 or even a 4.”