The Arlington Fire Department has improved their fire protection services over the last five years according to the Washington Survey and Rating Bureau.
The bureau (WSRB) rates fire districts in the state every five years from Class 1 to Class 10, with Class 1 being the highest.
Arlington’s fire department was rated as Class 4 with their most recent assessment, which is an improvement from their previous Class 5 rating.
This is the first time in more than 30 years that the rating has improved for the city.
“We’re really happy to see we went up one level from the bureau,” said Paul Ellis, Arlington city administrator.
“That is a reflection on the hard work we’ve put into the fire department here in Arlington,” he said.
The WSRB looks at a number of different areas of fire departments and districts across the state when performing their assessments, including inspecting facilities, equipment, training and staffing.
“They inspect the water supply in our fire hydrants,” said Ellis, “and they look at the amount of fire hydrants that are being put in new development.”
Ellis said that the Arlington Fire Department has seen a couple of different areas of improvement over the last five years.
“We worked hard in improving those areas and adding staffing to our department,” he said.
“An area that the bureau looked at that we improved in was staffing, we added some line staff to the fire department,” said Ellis.
Investments into new fire engines and other equipment also helped the department become better overall in terms of their available tools.
“We bought a couple of new pieces of equipment,” said Ellis.
“Some of the old equipment is now in reserve status, so we have backups incase our new equipment needs to be fixed,” he said.
New partnerships with nearby districts have also helped the Arlington Fire Department improve, said Ellis.
“We created some potent relationships with the surrounding fire districts, including the North County Regional Fire Authority and the Marysville Fire District,” he said.
The WSRB’s ratings are used by property insurance agencies to determine the level of fire risk.
Improving on the class rating “will save most of the residents and businesses some money on their fire insurance premiums,” said Ellis.
The new rating will take effect April 1, 2020.
Residents and business owners who are located within Arlington city limits can ask their insurance companies beginning in April about potential savings.