At last week’s meeting of the Stephenville City Council, Fire Chief Jimmy Chew gave a report on the progress and happenings within the Stephenville Fire Department.

“2008 was a good year for the fire department, our numbers are right on track,” said Chew.

The 27-man fire department is well trained and ready for most any emergency, due to their cross training with Emergency Medical Service personnel. The staff responded to a total of 1682 calls, with 235 of those being fire related. In addition, the department responded to 16 calls to assist other fire departments during the year.

“The majority of the time that we respond to calls from other departments, it is from Erath County EMS or Erath County Fire Department. They are always around to help us, too,” said Chew.

During 2008, the department was also able to lower the Insurance Standards Office homeowners rating for the city from a “4” to a “3”. The rating is a tool that insurance companies use to help determine rates for homeowner’s insurance. The rating works on a one-to-ten scale, with one being the best. The city was able to lower the rating with the cooperation of various entities.

“This isn’t all about the fire department, the water department plays a big part in it and so does the building and code enforcement departments. The fire department couldn’t do it on its own,” said Chew.

Only 2.6 percent of the nation is ranked as a ‘3’, the most common ISO rating is a ‘9’.