Fire departments to use grants for water tanks

By Argen Duncan: PNT Senior Writer

Two Roosevelt County fire departments have received grants allowing them to provide better service while lowering home insurance premiums for residents.

Floyd and Arch fire departments learned Monday they were chosen to receive $100,000 each through the state Fire Marshal’s Office Grant Council. The money is earmarked for water storage facilities.

Floyd Fire Chief Allen Deen said his department would have a 40,000 gallon tank at its second station, which opened earlier this year.

Arch Fire Chief Mike Golden said the size of his department’s tank would depend on cost.

“It’s a a great opportunity,” Golden said.

Although grant recipients have been announced, the departments haven’t received the money yet.

Floyd Fire Department is paying a matching amount of $25,000, and Arch Fire Department is matching the award with $20,000.

They will also have to go through a bidding process to select a company to put in the tanks.

“We just carried water in our trucks up until this point,” Golden said.

Before, he said, Arch firefighters would have to ask other departments for help with more water and drive into Portales to refill.

Floyd Assistant Fire Chief Steven Cain said the first station in Floyd has access to the village water system, but the second station now only has a well to which the trucks can’t connect.

With the new tanks, firefighters have easier access to water.

“This was the last step that we needed in lowering our ISO,” said Deen, referring to the department’s Insurance Services Office rating.

The rating indicates a fire station’s capability, and insurance companies use it to determine premiums for buildings in a 15-mile radius from the station.

Floyd Mayor Colin Chandler said the department had been working to improve its ISO rating for about 10 years.

Once the Floyd Fire Department personnel finish the paperwork and get approval from ISO inspectors, Deen said, their rating will drop from a 9 to a 5, with 1 being the best score. Golden said the new water storage could help lower his department’s ISO rating as well.

Deen said the push to improve ISO ratings is county-wide, and Golden said the departments couldn’t handle the grants without the county manager’s office helping.