Midlothian Fire Department Makes History with Coveted Class 1 ISO Rating

Midlothian fire department

The primary concern of any city resident is safety, which includes the effectiveness of their local fire department.

Midlothian residents have such a fire department.

The department has received numerous accolades for its performance over the years, instilling a feeling of security among the citizens served. And now they’ve made history.
Recently, the department received approval for a coveted Public Protection Classification of 1 from the Insurance Services Office (ISO). Fire departments are audited every ten years and ISO sorts communities in Classes 1 through 10, with Class 1 being the best and ten being the worst.

“As an organization dedicated to serving this community, we are humbled by this recognition of our focus on delivering the most efficient and effective emergency services available to the residents and visitors of our community,” McCaskill said. “We are proud to say that we are the first community in Ellis County to achieve this goal.”

To achieve an ISO fire rating of Class 1, the community had to score 90 or higher on the Fire Suppression Rating Schedule. The FSRS awards a maximum of 105.5 points based on the community’s fire department, water supply, emergency communications, and risk reduction.

The No. 1 classification is achieved by fewer than 5 percent of communities in the state of Texas. The rating was previously a 2 for Midlothian.  Not only does the top rating bring an even stronger feeling of safety, but it also helps the pocketbook.

The ISO surveyed Midlothian’s fire preparedness to gather information needed to determine a public protection classification, which may be used to develop property insurance premium calculations,” McCaskill explained. “ISO’s Public Protection Classification plays an important role in the underwriting process at insurance companies.

“In fact, most U.S. insurers – including the largest ones – use PPC information as part of their decision making when deciding what business to write, coverages to offer, or prices to charge for personal or commercial property insurance.”

The Midlothian Fire Department has also made the American Heart Association’s Mission: Lifeline Gold Honor Roll, a national initiative to advance the system of care for patients with high-risk, time-sensitive disease states, such as severe heart attacks and strokes. SafeWise, which evaluates a city’s per capita violent and property crime rates based on FBI statistics, also lists Midlothian as one of the safest cities in Texas.

McCaskill, who has served as Midlothian fire chief for nine years, gives credit to the ongoing support by the city administration and the city council.

“The city has consistently invested in the Fire Department’s ability to be staffed, equipped, and trained at maximum fire response levels, which in turn allows us to recruit and maintain a dedicated force of expert firefighters,” he said. “Additionally, it has maintained a reliable water supply and delivery system. It has also supported a superior emergency communications center that can efficiently and expertly receive and dispatch fire alarms.”

The Midlothian Fire Department employs 69 firefighters/paramedics in emergency operations in three fire stations. Officials note that the city’s current growth rate and demand for services will require the addition of a fourth fire station in the near future. The land for this station has been purchased in the area of Hwy. 287 and South Walnut Grove Road.

The Midlothian Fire Department serves a 115-mile area and responds to 5,700 calls annually, averaging a 5:45-minute average response time.

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Rick Mauch
Rick Mauch is a veteran of more than four decades in the media. He began writing in high school and immediately went into broadcasting for almost a decade after graduating, working his way to morning drive in Birmingham, Alabama. However, realizing how much he missed writing (though he did continue to do some during his time in top-40 radio), Rick returned to what he loved and has been doing it ever since. Rick's career has spanned a plethora of media outlets, including community journalism, sports, entertainment, politics and more. He's worked in print, broadcast and online media. He also spent several years doing public relations for a children's home in East Texas - still writing on the side, of course. When he's not writing, Rick loves to play golf and do Bigfoot research. He's an avid believer. He also made his first hole-in-one in June of 2020. Rick is married to Junell Mauch. They have five children and three granddaughters

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