LHH Fire Dept rated one of state’s best
By Jay Seidel
La Habra Journal
The La Habra Heights Fire Department was recently rated in the top 2 percent of fire departments across the country by the Insurance Services Office.
The ISO’s Public Protection program review rates departments across the country on various categories to establish the city’s rating from 1 -10. Departments are evaluated on 911 dispatch capability, command staff, department apparatus, staffing levels, training, mutual aid agreements, fire prevention activities, water supply levels and fire hydrant systems.
The national program review stated that the LHH Fire Department’s rating was moved from a Class 5 to Class 2.
According to city staff, only .4 percent scored above the department nationally and only 19 departments in California achieved a Class 1 rating.
“This means everything,” said LHH Mayor Kyle Miller. “La Habra Heights has an inherent risk for fire. So we need our fire department to be as effective as possible. We’re proud of them and the residents are as well.
The rating by the ISO is used by insurance companies to evaluate community risks in underwriting decisions regarding insurance rates and coverage.
Since the previous ISO evaluation and rating, LHH Fire Chief Doug Graft worked with the city to address the areas that needed improving. These included maintaining daily staffing levels, improved 911 dispatch, fire apparatus and command staff oversight.
“The fire department has redoubled its efforts and increased its connection to the residents,” Miller said. “They improved in every area they could, and added to their outreach effort with the new blog and weed abatement site.”
In an effort to help keep the community informed of what the fire department is doing and on important fire prevention measures, the LHHFD developed a blog that can be found at: lhhfire.com.
“We will keep it updated with news and information regarding the Heights,” said LHH Fire Captain Ron Meyers.
In addition, the city is looking to honor the memory of six of their fallen firefighters with a memorial plaque installed by the flagpole in front of city hall.
The firefighters were killed in 1955 fighting a serious fire in the hills of what would become La Habra Heights. According to city staff, the memory of the firemen’s sacrifice faded through the decades, but was brought to light by resident Scott Jones.
Graft searched an appropriate tribute to honor and memorialize the sacrifice of the firemen for the community and the bronze plaque idea was developed.
Graft is hoping the plaque will be able to be unveiled at the fire department’s open house set for October 8.