Improved protection rating benefits department, residents

Renton Fire Chief Rick Marshall

Renton Fire Chief Rick Marshall

The Renton Regional Fire Authority (RRFA) is now listed among the best in state according to the Washington Surveying & Rating Bureau.

The fire authority received an improved Protection Class rating from a class 3 to a class 2. The new rating goes into effect Feb. 1, 2019.

And residents in Fire District 25 and Fire District 40 will see the Protection Class rating improve from a class 4 to a class 3.

The Protection Class rating system reflects the capabilities of the fire protection system within a community, according to a release from the RRFA.

Every five years, the bureau evaluates fire departments throughout the state.

According to Renton Fire Chief Rick Marshall, this years evaluation took about a month to complete.

He said first the bureau sends the department a list of questions and staff members begin to compile information including training records, truck maintenance records and water records.

Following the completion of providing the bureau with the necessary records and documents, an onsite visit occurs. Marshall said this years visit took about three hours.

He said during the evaluation process five years ago, the onsite visit took three days. He added this was because the department had a hard time producing the necessary records.

The last time Renton was evaluated, Marshall said the department “narrowly escaped going to a class 4.”

He credits the department’s new recording system as the reason why this years onsite visit was so much shorter than the last time. He also said it took less staff time to compile the required documents.

Two factors why District 25 and District 40, both who use services of the RRFA, did not improve to the same class rating were the fire marshal services (including inspectors) the authority provides and the water district.

He said for the Regional Authority, the city manages the water and unlike those districts, who are in unincorporated King County, a higher fire load is provided within city limits.

Marshall said when the department came to voters asking them to approve the fire authority, they told voters they were committed to a higher level of service.

This new and improved rating shows the public just that.

“We set out with a strategic plan and two and a half years later this is living proof of us making good on our promises,” Marshall said.

For the public, Marshall said this rating could provide them with lower insurance rates whether you own a home or business.

The reason being, he said, is this new rating shows the property is safer now than it was five years ago when the last evaluation was completed.

Marshall stated insurance companies do take other factors into consideration so residents should check with their provider to see if a lower rate can be applied.

In Marshall’s 35 years with the department and a little over two years as chief he said, “This is the biggest deal of my tenure with the department.”

Currently, there are no class 1 fire departments in the state of Washington, Marshall said.

Even the Seattle Fire Department, who Marshall credits as being the gold standard, is listed as a class 2.

“I take pride in saying we’re on the top of fire and emergency services in the state,” he said.

When asked about the process of getting to a class 1, the best rating there is, Marshall said often times chiefs have to think about what they can do. He said the evaluation process is also difficult and it takes a look at every aspect within a department.

“It is not a one (person)thing,” he said. “The rating isn’t because I am chief, it comes from every department and every person in the organization.”

He even credited the city, governance board and citizens as having ownership in this improved safety rating.

For more information on the RRFA and the improved rating, visit www.rentonrfa.com/.

More in News

Courtesy of Renton Schools. Through a mentor program between local students and car dealerships, involving Renton School District Career Technical Education (CTE) worksite learning coordinators, nonprofit Mentor Washington and Communities in Schools Renton-Tukwila, students are getting both careers and a friendly hand on stepping into the adulthood. Pictured: First mentee in the program Nick Romo, who has gone on to continue his career after the program and is nearly a master technician, in a video about the program.
Dealing kids a better future

Local car dealerships mentor Renton students for future careers

Courtesy of City of Renton. The Cedar River Trail experienced a significant undermining, and much of the bank was gone after flooding over the weekend, some of it just feet away from the paved trail.
River flooding pushes Renton to the limits

Heavy rains and rising waters could cost Renton millions

Courtesy of City of Renton. Site area for the Park Avenue North extension, a project from the city and SECO development that creates a second access point for Southport.
SECO expands its reach

Two new land acquisitions will expand Southport

Federal Way resident Mi’Chance Dunlap-Gittens, 17, died Jan. 27, 2017. Courtesy photo
Law enforcement challenges report on sting operation that killed Federal Way teen

King County Office of Law Enforcement Oversight’s findings rattle Sheriff’s Office, police union.

Unstable housing? Apply for Section 8

Applications open in February for housing vouchers

In 2018, the city of Seattle approved and then repealed a head tax within a month. It would have levied a $275 per employee tax on businesses grossing more than $20 million annually. Sound Publishing file photo
County head tax bill passes committee

Bill would let King County levy a tax on businesses to fund housing and address homelessness.

Gov. Jay Inslee signs the first bill of the 2020 legislative session into law. On the right stands the bill’s primary sponsor, Sen. Jamie Pedersen, D-Seattle, who is wearing a red tie. Photo by Cameron Sheppard, WNPA News Service
Gov. Inslee signs tax bill to help fund higher education

Law shifts a portion of the tax burden to large tech companies.

Photo courtesy of AIFF Local 864. Just before 7 p.m. on Saturday, Feb. 8 a five-vehicle collision on Interstate 405 (I-405) North between Renton and Tukwila halted evening traffic and caused an involved semi truck to catch fire.
Residents hurt in two crashes over the weekend

Two severe accidents over the weekend in Renton destroyed vehicles and left… Continue reading

A screenshot of the Facebook post from Feb. 5 containing the video that allegedly showed roaches in the downtown Renton IHOP kitchen. The restaurant was inspected the next day at request of the owner and found to be clean and free of pests.
Inspection debunks fake viral cockroach video

A local IHOP restaurant received an “excellent” rating after complaints made

Most Read