Aug 14, 2014 10:53 AM by AP
MONROE, La. (AP) - The Monroe Fire Department is spending millions to add new fire trucks, better equipment and improve communication in hopes of keeping its Class 1 fire rating when recertification rolls around in 2016.
The News-Star reports the department plans to spend more than $3 million to purchase new safety equipment, two pumpers, one rescue truck, one aerial truck and establish a new communication center.
The fire department will be re-evaluated by the Property Insurance Association of Louisiana in 2016, and city officials have said maintaining its Class 1 fire rating could prove difficult. During MFD's last evaluation, it received a 90.5. In order to possess a Class 1 fire rating, fire departments must score a 90 or higher.
The fire department is rated every five years. Fire departments are graded on the availability of water within the city, its equipment, personnel and other firefighting capabilities. Inspectors also look at the types of property and ability to respond to fires.
City officials say the class 1 rating has saved residents and businesses millions since 2002.
Harvey Hales, who owns a Shelter Insurance agency in Monroe, said the city has been fortunate to have its Class 1 fire rating for more than a decade.